Therese X. (Calera, AL)
So much more than Rockets!
One would expect a memoir by a 26 year old would be more of a glancing prologue than a richly told and deeply felt biography encompassing a promising career making movies for NASA to following a sudden urge to flee across the
Atlantic to sell used books. From page one where Jessica Fox states the three thing you should know about rockets, she pulls you through her culture shock of moving from the comfort of Yankee Boston to the steaming hot, perpetual snake of traffic that is Los Angeles. En route to finding clients at alleged business meetings where bikini-clad women sell more than film producing ideas, sensible, workaholic Jessica is driven to plan a getaway so far removed from L.A. that she types a simple phrase "used book shop Scotland" into a search engine and receives a reply: "Wigtown,Scotland's National Book Town". A town of 1,000 people had sixteen bookshops! And right near the Scottish sea. What begins as a whim for a temporary getaway becomes a huge adventure with untold possibilities including love, fear, delightful and peculiar new friends,and the trauma of being a victim of power hungry functionaries of the UK immigration system.
This story is a very compelling read by a 20-something Someone who will not be beaten...well, not all the time. She's unique and inspiring yet just like one of us, no matter our age.
Cynthia C. (Peekskill, NY)
After a bit of a slow start, I ended up enjoying Ms. Fox's memoir. When she wrote about dealing with customers at The Bookshop and life in the small town, I found the book very engaging. However, I thought more of the book would be about her experiences working in the bookshop, which I would have enjoyed.
I must say, I'm not really a fan of either Jessica or Euan. She seemed a little "angsty" and he, passive/aggressive. Having said that, I would be curious to know if she & Euan are still together & if she's still in Wigtown.
An ARC of this book was given to me in exchange for my honest review by Book Browse.
Mary H. (Phoenix, AZ)
I read the book with pleasure. The experiences of Jessica Fox whether awkward or blissful were much like the mapping of the stars. If every poet, writer or philosopher that was quoted, every influence such as Herman Melville, Joseph Campbell and or NASA were stars and each star helped formed a shape, this shape would be a fox. These influences help clarify the decision making process for Jessica. The journey proved very interesting and in the end she shone bright in a dark sky. I am looking forward to her next book.
Wendy E. (Mechanicsville, VA)
Like so many other first readers/reviewers, I had a tough time at the start. Once she gets to Scotland the story picks up. Those readers hoping for more "adventures in bookselling" will not find it here. There is a good bit of 20 something angst. But the Scottish adventure and the romance should keep most readers engaged and perhaps inspire a few "wild hair" trips.
Debra P. (Belmont, NC)
This memoir was very emotional for me as I went through a very similar long distance relationship with a German national during the late 80's. That relationship ended badly so many of my emotional scars were reopened as I read this book.
That said, one of my favorite features is the way Jessica Fox used quotes from different books to start every chapter. Each quote was just a slight preview of the coming chapter and I was inspired to read some of those books. I also liked the use of Herman Melville as her muse.
The book moved very fast and I was intrigued to learn the outcome of her relationship with Euen.
Also, the book provides an excellent visual for Scotland, in particular Wigtown and I would definitely love to visit someday, especially since I am also a booklover.
I liked the book and will recommend it. The only weak part for me, and maybe because of my emotional tie through my own history, was the book seemed slow and tedious sometimes as we were privy to so much relationship drama. I felt that Jessica was truly blinded by love and refused to see many of the warning signs that may have saved her the devastating heartbreak she experienced. That's why I am curious to see what is her status now.
Vicki O. (Boston, MA)
You Won't Learn about Rockets
This engaging memoir is NOT about a dysfunctional family. It is Jessica Fox's story about how instinct led her to leave a job as a filmmaker at NASA and Google helped her find her destination – a second hand bookstore in Wigtown, Scotland. Waiting for her is Euan, bookstore proprietor and future romantic interest. Fox spins her tale with keen and often humorous observations about her new relationship and her adopted countryside. It's an entertaining enough read and one that may even bring a smile to your face.
Lisa R. (Salem, OR)
Books and romance!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing was very reflective of the way real people think and act, as far as the personal and romantic part went. I loved reading the descriptions of Scotland, and living in a bookshop would be a dream! Once I started, I didn't want to stop reading until I found out what happened. At the end of the book, I realized I wanted more, wanted to know what happened in their lives next.