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Cat Walker was born in the sunny seaside town of Scarborough in North Yorkshire and loved it. But one day she saw that there was a big wide world outside and decided to explore. She travelled extensively throughout Europe and South East Asia, and spent time living in Ireland, France, and Australia before returning to the UK. With a PhD in economic psychology, Cat's day job is as the Director of her own research consultancy which works exclusively with voluntary and community organisations. She is the respected author of two textbooks, numerous research reports, and hundreds of articles and blogs. In her spare time she writes fiction and poetry and once co-wrote and directed a successful amateur musical ('Honeybees: The Musical' - the world's first lesbian field hockey musical) which sold out performances in Brighton, Eastbourne and the famous RADA Studios (formerly the Drill Hall) off the West End of London. Cat currently lives in Brighton with her wife and baby son.
This was a wonderful read but also a difficult title to categorise as it covers many subjects throughout its pages.The author writes with humour and realism whilst conjuring up a magical experience to take readers on. I was drawn in from the prologue and being of a similar age to the author found myself nodding in agreement at various reminiscences. The pairing of Casey and Danny as childhood friends was brilliantly observed with the way they spoke, argued, joked and cried together as they overcame often insurmountable obstacles during the journey. Like Casey I, too, was unsure how the trip would work-if it could work-with the third traveller but it added a positive poignant dimension to the story. I was in admiration of the historical paragraphs relating to each country the trio passed through but it ultimately was a way that helped break the ice between Casey and Ari. It also made for interesting reading and I felt I learned a lot! Alice was a great addition to the storyline and I was sad to see her go before the trip ended. She had been through so much for a second hand ice cream van! However by using other modes of transport other characters could then be brought in subtlety to continue the rich pattern of different cultures and languages. If you are looking for a thought-provoking read covering friendships, relationships and travel tips then look no further. An absolutely fantastic debut novel. Caroline Highy, A LoveReading Ambassador