Startlingly honest and ridiculously funny, I Left My Tent in San Francisco is the miraculous story of how the hapless pair made it back alive to tell the disastrous tale. Emma Kennedy has the wonderful gift of being able to write as if she is talking to you, in a chatty, half laughing way. The basis of her story is her post university trip across America with her well bred friend Dee which turns into an adventure they will never forget. They seem, on the face of it, an unlikely combination but in fact balance each other and combine well to give a contrast in each scene the author presents. She has an amazing memory for detail, for conversation and has a self deprecating air which highlights her liability to be involved in incidents where she is made to seem amusingly either inadequate or inefficient. I suspect she is neither, but instead has the art of turning the most trivial happening into an adventure which makes for laugh-out-loud reading. There is an element of “there but for the grace of God go I” about much of her recollections, as most of us can remember getting into scrapes when young which seemed hilarious at the time, so it is easy to relate to her style of writing. I suspect that looking back at the trip has highlighted the fun and the amusement rather than any hardship and this gives the book a sunny, happy go lucky air which recommends itself for light summer reading.
May 2012 Travel Book of the Month.