Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Summer In Europe Book Tour

Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington (
December 1st 2011)

Book blurb: It's not where you go. It's what you take back with you...

Marilyn Brant, author of the acclaimed ACCORDING TO JANE, transports readers across the pond on a grand journey of self-awakening amidst the classic architecture and stunning vistas of Europe -- and a young woman discovers that the ancient wonders around her are nothing compared to the renaissance unfolding within.

On her 30th birthday, Gwendolyn Reese is given an unusual gift by her eccentric aunt: a summer grand European tour arranged through her aunt's Sudoku and Mahjongg Club. Gwen reluctantly leaves her "almost fiancé" and heads to Europe with her aunt and a collection of offbeat club members.

Abroad, Gwen is slowly but surely transformed. She has conversations she'd never expected, is spellbound by London theater, touches a glacier, races through the Louvre, and shares a passionate kiss with a wild young physics professor. And when her old life comes calling again, she must choose between the practical choices she's always made, and a world open to infinite possibilities...

My review: Birthdays, especially monumental ones like 16th or 30th, can be times of celebration or introspection. For Gwendolyn, her 30th is a wake-up call. She thinks her boyfriend, Richard, will give her a ring, as in engagement ring, but instead she receives... a pair of earrings. Yes, they're pearl and lovely, but--not what she wanted. Lucky for her, Aunt Bea knows what to get her niece, even if her relative doesn't know it at the time. Gwen learns Bea is taking her on a trip to Europe. And there is another 'but' this time. It's not just the two of them, but Bea's Sudoku and Mahjongg group buddies, her S&M group, will also be going. From this opening paragraph, Brant's story has already prepared the reader for a trip with a cast of zany, intriguing and never boring characters.

Gwen doesn't care to go on a trip with a bunch of senior citizens. What fun would that be? But then she remembers how her mom died at forty and she decides to go for it. Leaving home turns out to be the best thing for her. On this trip she meets an amazing cast of others, traverses some great places and discovers who she is and what she wants out of life. Brant really makes you feel as if you're in the moment with Gwen, her way with description is wonderful. 

A Summer in Europe is highly recommended. Lovely locales, interesting people, and a woman who learns about the fragility of time and life. There's also the prospect of romance with two charming brothers and Gwen's need to either return home to her 'safe' life or to take some chances and make life interesting. 

Rating: Highly recommended.

Cover comment: Considering the title, this cover is appropriate.

Book source: From publisher for my honest review during a book tour.


  1. This sounds like my kind of book! Maybe it's because I had a milestone birthday recently (the big 5-0). It sounds like fun reading.

    Thanks for the review.


  2. Hi Catherine! Yes, this is fun reading and I think you'll like it.

  3. I love these travelogue style stories because it is my opportunity to vicariously travel. I also like stories about the main character growing and learning.

    Thanks for the review!