Running Away to Home: Our Family's Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 11, 2011)
A middle class, Midwestern family in search of meaning uproot themselves and move to their ancestral village in Croatia
“We can look at this in two ways,” Jim wrote, always the pragmatist. “We can panic and scrap the whole idea. Or we can take this as a sign. They’re saying the economy is going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe this is the kick in the pants we needed to do something completely different. There will always be an excuse not to go…”
And that, friends, is how a typically sane middle-aged mother decided to drag her family back to a forlorn mountain village in the backwoods of Croatia.
I love the books that come out of an inner drive to find something that is missing in life. The ones where the author connects into that empty spot and discovers something about him/herself that leaves him/her forever changed.
Running Away to Home finds a family from urban middle America, living their materialistic, busy-all-the-time-lives. Running to and fro, accomplishing little, constantly striving for that one elusive thing.
Jennifer Wilson is a travel writer, and she and her husband have always dreamed about a sabbatical somewhere exotic. Jennifer’s ancestors are from war-scarred Croatia. So. They head to Croatia to encounter life as it might have been had her family never come to the states.
What they discover is vastly different than life in Urban Iowa. A life where folks are still identified by the political leanings of their parents and grandparents. A place where drinking is an art and maybe the only way to deal with memories for so many. A land where organic is a must rather than a luxury, where neighbors congregate to celebrate, where food and friendship is offered with no strings, where Wilson's family feels embraced and changed.
I would've loved to share some of the reentry issues the Wilson family faced. Maybe there will be a follow up.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer