I finished this in a couple of hours, it was excellent. The book is formed by letters between two friends, a newlywed who heads to Kenya to serve in the Peace Corps and her college roommate/best friend who is working in NYC. While Kate navigates a new world filled with giant bugs, exorcisms and strangely chunky water, Hillary deals with boyfriends, work and life in general.
Have you ever read a book that was so good that you wanted to start all over and read it again? Dear Exile is one of those books for me.
Dear Exile is an epilisolatory memoir, a story told in letters. Kate & Hilary have been good friends since they were roommates at college. Hilary was the only witness at Kate courthouse wedding to David. When Kate and David go to Kenya for a year with the Peace Corp, Kate and Hillary begin a correspondence that eventually makes it into the pages of this book.
Kate's letters are written from the jungles of Kenya. There, she and David absorb the local culture (goat meat - yech!!!!!); adapt to no electicity and no refrigeration in an unbearably hot climate; boil, filter and drink suspiciously chunky water; and meet their neighbors as they struggle to teach English at schools.
Hilary's letters are writen from the urban jungle of New York City. There she struggles to build a career and meet a man she can love.
The letters are intelligent, entertaining, heart-warming, eye-opening, funny, sad and never never boring. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
Kristine L. (kriser) reviewed Dear Exile : The True Story of Two Friends Separated (for a Year) by an Ocean on
I love this book and am so happy to find it again! I had a copy of this book when it was first published. I loaned out and never got it back. I couldn't remember the title, just the story, and all these years hoped and wondered if I would ever happen upon it again. I keep very few books after I read them but this was one that I enjoyed so much that I am doing the HAPPY DANCE now that I've found it and was able to order a copy! Fantastic story, very fun/easy read, the letters from Kenya were especially enjoyable! You'll love it too, I'm sure!
Hannah K. (infinitehannah) reviewed Dear Exile : The True Story of Two Friends Separated (for a Year) by an Ocean on
This book was an extremely quick read. At first I didn't care much about Hilary's life in New York, interested as I was in the exciting Peace Corps adventure that Kate and her husband were on. But as the book went on I became more and more interested in both of their lives. These women are funny and insightful. I wish that I could write the kind of intricate stories they have in their casual correspondence. Hilary and Kate surprised me with their rich vocabulary and wit.
Quick read, very fun and also useful if you think you'll be moving to Kenya or joining the Peace Corps.