'The Winding Road to Portugal' is Louise Ross's companion and comparison study to 'Women Who Walk: How 20 Women from 16 Countries Came to Live in Portugal'. This time 20 men from 11 countries share their stories of when, how and, above all, why they too came to up sticks and relocate to Portugal in particular.
This is a fascinating and illuminating work, consisting of the words of the newcomers themselves, with analysis by the psychology trained author, the journalist and author Richard Zimler, who has also taken the winding road and Dr. Nigel Hall, a distinguished psychiatrist. If this all sounds a bit heavy, I assure you it's not. The whole book will stir such a gamut of emotions, that the reader cannot help but be curious about the causes of such upheaval. Though far from being simply down to one reason, for some, language must have been an important factor. Those from Angola or Brazil were already fluent, whilst those from UK, Ireland, Poland, Netherlands, Denmark or Germany may have been beguiled by the promise of the Mediterranean climate. Escaping political, economic or social hardship was also cited, as was being an 'accompanying spouse', supporting their partners in their new location. At the end of the day, we work abroad because we can. The free movement of labour in the EU and the rise of the digital workplace, means that, if we have the inclination and the incentive, we can work anywhere.
However, the year 2020 brought a whole different scenario. The author decided to recontact her interviewees to see how the pandemic was affecting them and included an add-on to each section with their thoughts. Those working in tourism, such as taxi drivers and owners of hotels or guest houses, were not faring as well as, say, those working for international companies but most were optimistic that the future would be better. We all certainly hope that it won't be worse.
The winding road by definition is not straight forward and not everyone interviewed saw Portugal as their final resting place. This study will surely make it's readers think carefully about their own life's journey, which can only be a therapeutic exercise. A very instructive and thought-provoking social observation.
Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
How do men navigate life at a time fraught with great uncertainty and rapid change, working and moving country to country, on their own or with a family? Is their path easy, because they’re men, fortuned with greater liberties than women? Or do they encounter a different set of challenges, faced with the complexities of what it means to be a man today? Twenty men from 11 countries, business creatives-cum-entrepreneurial self-starters, some of whom pulled themselves up by the bootstraps, succeeding by their own efforts, share the truth of making different, oftentimes difficult decisions and life choices, eschewing the prescriptive straight and narrow path for the winding road.
|Publication date:||28th July 2020|
|Primary Genre||Indie Author Books|
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
The Winding Road to Portugal is an honest and insightful book that is great for readers who are interested in people.
The Winding Road to Portugal is a companion to Louise Ross’ previous collection of writing, Women Who Walk. This time we gain an insight into a selection of men who have taken the “winding route” to find themselves in Portugal. In addition to the same emotional and intellectual insights as Ross’ first collection, this book delivers an up to date account and includes details at the end of each chapter about how each contributor is managing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Each life story that is featured in this book is fascinating, honest and at times moving. Included in part of the premise of this book is the question of whether men do have it easier, and I enjoyed that this book shed light on what is described as unconventional life choices that brought these contributors from around the world to Portugal. As with women, men don’t all fit into the boxes constructed by their gender.
The introduction of this book compares the contributions in this book to the ones in Women Who Walk and it is very easy to continue the comparison. I would say that these books would sit together well, but I don’t think it is vital to have read Women Who Walk first. The Winding Road to Portugal is an honest and insightful book that is great for readers who are interested in people.
This book flows very well and each interview has been edited in a way that keeps the flow of the narratives while also maintaining each contributor’s unique voice. This is a brilliant book of life stories and the freedom and opportunity afforded by travel.
I set my compass to explore after completing culinary training and chef’ing with two top catering companies in Australia, where I’m from. A career in food and a love of travel propelled me north where I lived and worked in London, the French Alps, and the western U.S. after which, I returned to Australia to finish undergraduate studies in psychology, philosophy, literature and media studies. Extracurricular reading on the works of Carl Jung: myth, dreams and astrology, lead me to advanced studies and a MA in Jungian Psychology from a graduate school in Boulder Colorado ...More About Louise Ross