Published on the wire service of the Chicago Tribune on Aug. 21, 2003
"Avoiding Prison and Other Noble Vacation Goals: Adventures in Love and Danger"
It’s probably safe to say that Wendy Dale’s idea of the perfect vacation is not the same as everybody else’s. Perhaps it runs in her genes. After all, her restless parents, with a keen eye toward financial independence and a strong desire to avoid the corporate rat race, chose Honduras as the perfect retirement home. So she does things that most people would not even dream about: hanging out at a jail in Costa Rica, waiting for her boyfriend to be released; dodging "small" bombs in Beirut; going to Cuba for no particular reason other than the odd chance of picking up a bottle of rum and some fine Cuban cigars; or falling irrationally in love with Colombia ("The whole place was ancient and mystical in a way that only Gabriel Garcia Marquez was able to portray") despite its obvious shortcomings ("kidnapping, guerrilla war, drug mafia violence, paramilitary massacres, etc."). She writes in a glib, slightly smart-alecky (but not annoyingly so) voice that is both appealing and sympathetic—and very funny and, in the end, surprisingly poignant. We root for her as she embarks upon her alarmingly dangerous and foolhardy adventures, praying for her safety and longing to hear more of her sad and funny tales. (ISBN 0-609-80983-0)