RUNNING AWAY TO HOME : ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY TO CROATIA IN SEARCH OF WHO WE ARE, WHERE WE CAME FROM, AND WHAT REALLY MATTERS
by Jennifer Wilson
Why not go to Croatia for a sabbatical? Life is much simpler in this country and you can live off the land. This is what Jennifer Wilson, her husband, Jim, and their two children, Zadie and Sam did in 2008. They had lost half of their savings in the stock market crash and were stuck in a rut in Des Moines, Iowa. Jennifer's great-grandparents had left Croatia over one hundred years ago for America and she thought about returning to the homeland to discover her roots, find the graves of the relatives, talk to people who might have known them, try and look for their residences.
They spend four months, during the summer, in Mrkopalj living amonst 800 people, cavorting with the locals, drinking quite a bit of booze (adults only), attempting to learn the near impossible Croatian language, taking trips to the coast, attempting to milk the neighbor's cows, learning about the difficult history with the wars and the privation that followed, chopping wood, eating plenty of potatoes and sausage.
Running Away to Home is a fun, down-to-earth book about reconnecting with family no matter where you search for them.
The writing is very good and though it's difficult, at times, to read the names of people and places in Croatian, there is a glossary at the end with the phonetic pronunciations.
I really enjoyed the book. It's one of those feel-good reads.