I Love England aka Sisterchicks Go Brit! review

Friday, June 10, 2011

(Me posing with Ben and my beloved Paddington station)

Sisterchicks Go Brit!
by Robin Jones Gunn

I am an undeniable anglophile. Obviously there are many literary greats that hail from the UK (Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, the Brontës, etc.), but it’s not just the authors that leave me itching to cross the pond. I love the cranky bartenders at the pubs. I love the rolling hills in the countryside. I love the limitless new plays that cycle through the West End. I love double-decker buses, the Tate, cathedrals, day trips to sleepy villages, the Tube, Tower Bridge and posh politeness from strangers.

My Brit love boiled over when I lived in London. Instead of sating my thirst, it only cemented it. The first time I visited England I don’t know if I stopped smiling the whole trip, which probably made it painfully obvious that I was a tourist. I was only 19 and I flew into Heathrow by myself. I visited a friend who was living in London and then we traveled to Bath and Stonehenge for a few days.

I flew over to Ireland and wandered through that country on the same trip. Though I passionately loved the land of Guinness, it wasn’t quite the same devotion I felt for England. Two years later I managed to swing a semester in London, which made it officially my permanent home away from home.

All of that is to explain why Sisterchicks Go Brit!, a light read from one of my favorite authors when I was a preteen, was so much fun for me. It was a great reminder of all of the above. Gunn’s characters travel to England for the first time and just like me, they are smitten. I felt like I was reading about my own experience in many parts. They did so many of the things that I (and many tourists before me) did. They shopped in Portobello Road, saw Les Miserable, posed with Big Ben, traveled to Oxford to visit the Eagle and the Child pub (where the Inklings hung out!). The book itself isn’t life changing, it’s just a sweet walk down memory lane.

Do you guys have any places that you’re felt drawn to your whole life?

Photos (other than cover) taken of or by moi.


Falaise said...

It's good to know that someone loves us out there!!

I've always had a little hankering to live in a small Italian or Greek village for some reason. Not that I ever will, of course.

Jillian said...

Beautiful! Looks like you had a great time :) I love traveling - I wish I could just do it more often! Someday for me :)

Kristi said...

I love your photos. I kind of feel that way about Scotland. Growing up in San Diego, I never thought I'd enjoy living here in a little village, but I love it. It's so serene. I have a river that runs right behind my back garden. I love walking everywhere now. I would stay here much longer if I had family nearby.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Falaise - I would love to live in Greece or Italy. Florence is one of those places I don't think I'd ever grow tired of.

Jillian - If only I had unlimited money and vacation time, I don't think I'd ever stop travelling.

Kristi - I'm so jealous. I loved Scotland, it was so beautiful! I also loved the aspect of walking every where. That's how it was in London and we just don't do that in America. Even if we're only going a block a way, we drive.

Bybee said...

I think I'm English on the inside. I've never been to England. Yet.

Mumsy said...

O how I loved the British Library's collection of manuscripts! "Reader, I married him.."

Jenners said...

I visited London in my early 20s and just fell in love and have been wanting to return ever since.

BookQuoter said...

Yes, how can one not love London? Did you also like the pasties they sell at Covent Garden and at Paddington station as much as I did? :)
This book sounds like a fun read.
Love your pictures.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Bybee - I hpoe you go one day, you'll love it!

Mumsy - Yes! Beatle lyrics written on napkins, seeing Austen's work in her own hand writing and of course, Jane Eyre! It was like heaven.

Jenners - I feel like London is one of those places where you go there once and it's always in your heart.

BookQuoter - Oh my gosh, the Paddington pasties, love them! You can't find anything like them in Indiana.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to visit London someday! It's one of those places I've seen so much of on film & read about in books so I feel like I've got this incomplete picture of it in my mind. The only thing missing is seeing it! :) The city I've felt most connected to that I have visited was undoubtedly Florence, but Nice is a close second. I had the best time, with the BEST travel companion! :)

Aarti said...

I love the Brits, too! And Britain- I think I just love the pageantry and history embedded in everything there- they are pretty obsessed with their past, which I love :-)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Care - I loved Florence so much. That was such an amazing trip!

Aarti - I love how much past they have! In America it seems like we tear down everything new to build a new parking garage. In Europe you can walk down a street and see a new shop on one side and a cathedral from the 1700s on the other. It's such a great mix of old and new.

Jeanne said...

I've been to London and a few other places (like Stratford and Bath) a couple of times before, and we're taking our kids in July. One of our stops is the Eagle and Child!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne - I loved Stratford and Bath too. There are so many great places to see in the UK. I hope you guys have a great trip! Oxford is fantastic.