If it's escapism you're after, this is one for you. Set in the early days of aviation, women's rights and tourism, the author captures the pioneering spirit of the age of adventure with her intrepid heroine and not so intrepid travelling companion. A lively, lighthearted read - romantic but without sentimentality.
With Mr Thomas Cook and his representatives, Ursula Bridgewater toured Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Bavaria. She visited the battlefields of Waterloo and the high-walled towns of the Netherlands. She was happiest when she was abroad, happy in a way she was not when she was at home, and yet this feeling was impermanent. It was a period of quarantine, a restorative, but it was not a cure. Yes, she had seen things, had felt the exhilarating effects of Alpine air, had spoken French in mountain-top cremeries, but she still had not really done anything with her life.