I’m pairing a fiction and nonfiction book that share a theme. Choose the novel or the memoir or both! Each of these books blends a tender family story with secrets and adventure.
by Amanda Eyre Ward
Come aboard, the Splendido Marveloso is expecting you! In Amanda Eyre Ward’s The Jetsetters, Charlotte Perkins, an aging widow from Savannah, wins a 10-day Mediterranean cruise on an ultra-cheesy cruise ship (Discos! Water slides! Crystal ballrooms!). Hoping to reconnect with her grown, semi-estranged children – and maybe find a little love for herself – Charlotte invites her two daughters and son to join her. At each exotic port of call Charlotte learns a little more about the secrets each child is hiding and a lot about herself. With wonderfully funny descriptions of the cruise ship and the cruising life, The Jetsetters is a warm and wise look at aging, families and our enduring need for love.
The Adventurer’s Son
by Roman Dial
For a different kind of adventure – think hacking through dense jungle, not shipboard discos – try Roman Dial’s touching memoir The Adventurer’s Son. When 27 year-old Cody Roman Dial emailed his parents that he would be hiking off-trail through a remote jungle in Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park, they felt only mild concern. Cody, after all, was an experienced off-trail hiker, sensible, strong and intelligent. But when weeks passed with no word from Cody, Roman Dial rushed to Costa Rica to search for his missing son. On being told that Cody was last seen with a notorious drug dealer, Roman Dial had to question everything he thought he knew about his son. This is really three narratives in one: the wilderness adventures shared by father and son, Cody’s solo treks in remote Central America and a father’s heartbreaking search for his missing son.