Part love story, part fish-out-of-water travel adventure, Oh Mexico! Love and Adventure in Mexico City is a disarmingly clever mash-up of chick-lit and travel writing.
But that isn’t to say guys won’t get a kick out it as well. It’s a perfect holiday read.
The memoirs of an Australian gringo living in one of the world’s most dangerous cities, Lucy Neville’s debut novel details her adventures and misadventures in Mexico, teaching English to pay the rent, braving Mexican street-hawkers and falling in and out of love.
At times it’s a tad melodramatic – like something out of Home and Away or Neigbours for example – and seasoned travellers will roll their eyes at some of the mountains Neville makes out of molehills.
Dealing with people who don’t speak English? That’s nothing new. A young woman travelling alone in a relatively dangerous country? There are tons of travel blogs on the subject written by women who make a life out of travel.
Still, it’s hard not to be swept up in the hysteria. Some of her adventures are genuinely frightening; many of them are also hilarious.
Like the endless double entendres. It seems that almost everything has a not-so-subtle second meaning, which is made funnier still by Neville’s situation as a fish very much out of water.
Naturally the conversations she gets into with the students at her school are also funny – but they’re illuminating as well. Often the best insights into the lives of people from another country come from merely having a conversation.
And that’s where this book really shines. You’ll come away feeling inspired to travel to Mexico, to take your chances with the local cuisine and maybe even fall in love with the country and its people.
Also check out my review of the classic holiday read: The Beach by Alex Garland.