Visiting places you’ve read about in fiction PLUS Book Review: The Sisterhood

Paris, Sydney, Provence, London, Venice, Vietnam, San Diego.

I love reading stories that are set in far-off places. If the author has done a good job, the reader will be immediately immersed in the city or country so much that it’ll be as if you’re right there – see, feel, taste, touch and hear the richness and uniqueness of that place. So much, that you’ll want to visit the place. And from the places above, Sydney was the only place I’d been to up until a month ago.

I’m a very visual person so when I read I’m already forming pictures in my mind of what something looks like whether that is a house, café, restaurant, boat, beach, shops or a car. And always wondered how true my vision would be if I ever actually got to see those things.

Earlier this year I connected on-line with an author, Bob Boze, who had written a trilogy. The first book is Horses of Tir Na Nog (book review and Amazon link). The second book is The Sisterhood and, Dreams is the third book (review coming in late 2017). These books are mainly set in San Diego and Bonita.

I read these books quickly – I loved the stories, the characters and the settings.

Below is a review of The Sisterhood:

Food, friendship and fun! That’s the theme for The Sisterhood, a continuation of a great debut novel, Horses of Tir Na Nog.

Be prepared to take a trip abroad and visit London, Istanbul, Paris, Kusadasi and Ephesus. Experience the uniqueness of each of these places as we join CJ, Shawn, Shannon and Bert at their wedding, amazing reception and on their honeymoon.

The Sisterhood picks up directly where the Horses of Tir Na Nog left off. Reacquaint yourself with old friends as they begin new journeys that continue the strong bond of friendship, closeness and honesty they built up amongst people who love and look after one another.

The Sisterhood introduces a new set of characters that bring new challenges and interest to the trilogy. It explores themes of hope and taking risks.

The joy that The Sisterhood characters find in sharing a meal with those they love is described by Bob like no other. You can taste the wonderful dishes brilliantly described to the extent that you’ll be drooling.

And there’s a cliff-hanger at the end that you won’t want to miss setting up for the grand finale of Dreams.

The Sisterhood can be read as a stand-alone novel, but to understand the true meaning of The Sisterhood I would definitely read Horses of Tir Na Nog first.

An enjoyable read!

Bob loves to take his characters to places both locally and internationally and if he can find a way to involve food he will! He has a brilliant way of describing what his characters are eating so you can almost taste the food yourself in full detail. The food is either homemade recipes or dishes prepared in restaurants.

In the Horses of Tir Na Nog, Shawn takes CJ to a restaurant, C Level. He describes the view from C Level, which looks out over San Diego Bay, the Coronado Bridge and the USS Midway Museum. I could only use my imagination as to what these looked like.

Shawn and CJ also eat out at The Galley in Chula Vista Marina, 57 Degrees, tour the Gaslamp Quarter, the Maritime Museum, the Organ Pavilion at Balboa Park and eat homemade Gumbo Ya Ya. Once again, I only had my imagination to fall back on to visualise what these places looked like or how the food tasted.

In The Sisterhood, an accident occurs at the intersection of 76 where it turns towards Julian.

It was an absolute delight when Bob invited me to meet him, his family and discover his city, San Diego.

In my previous blog I outlined the amazing two-week holiday I had there. And, yip, you may have worked out who the secret identity of the fabulous tour guide was who took my everywhere – it was Bob!

Bob was not only incredibly proud of San Diego, but relished taking me to places described in his books – The Galley, C Level, the Maritime Museum, a drive-by of the Horses of Tir Na Nog Ranch – and also experiencing what his characters experienced; including a glass of sarsaparilla at the Miner’s Diner in Julian.

Have a guess what this is!

And, yes, we passed through 76 where the motor vehicle accident occurred.

It wasn’t long before I felt like one of the characters in his books. How cool is that!

Now when I go back and read his books again (yes, they’re that good) I don’t have to imagine any longer; I can call on memories of the real thing!

I felt so incredibly privileged to be given a personal tour by an author. Something I never envisaged I would experience and something I will cherish forever. Bob was an absolute minefield of facts, and was able to tell lots of stories about everything. Not only that, what started out as an on-line friendship was cemented even further as each day passed. Bob and I are now very proud best friends!

Coming soon – Part 3 – The other reason for my trip to San Diego.

 

Have you ever visited a place or had an experience that was described in a fiction book? Have you ever had an author’s tour?