Jessica Fox was living in Hollywood, an ambitious 26-year-old film-maker with a high-stress job at NASA. Working late one night, craving another life, she was seized by a moment of inspiration and tapped "second hand bookshop Scotland" into Google. She clicked the first link she saw.
A month later, she arrived 2,000 miles across the Atlantic in Wigtown, on the west coast of Scotland, and knocked on the door of the bookshop she would be living in for the next month ...
The rollercoaster journey that ensued - taking in Scottish Hanukkah, yoga on Galloway's west coast, and a waxing that she will never forget - would both break and mend her heart. It would also teach her that sometimes we must have the courage to travel the path less taken. Only then can we truly become the writers of our own stories.
"The romantic memoir of the year." - Daily Mail (UK)
"It's sweet, it's charming, and it's funny." - The Times London
"An amazing, unexpected love story...totally inspiring." - Emily Forde
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Rated of 5
3 Things You Need to Know About Rockets
I liked this book mostly. It started out slow but the synopsis kept me reading, & I'm glad I did. I received this ARC book in lieu of a review. This memoir about Jessica Fox has her quitting her job at NASA to spend a month on holiday working in a book store in Scotland. She meets quirky townspeople, and a possible love interest. It's her journey of self-discovery that is fun, frustrating and entertaining.
Rated of 5
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.
Rated of 5
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.
Rated of 5
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.
Rated of 5
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.
Rated of 5
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.
Jessica Fox is a writer and film director. She has consulted for HarperCollins and was a resident storyteller and film director at NASA. She heads Mythic Image Studios and divides her time between the US and the UK. This is her first book.
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