Saturday, May 21, 2016

Doing Germany: Book Two

29102322In the sequel to the best-selling DOING GERMANY, Agnieszka Paletta picks up exactly where she left off. She is still a slave to chocolate and wine, still a Polish-Canadian-lover-of-Italy, still a grasshopper in a new country, Germany. Two years may have passed, but the moose-in-headlights persists as she continues to discover Deutschland. (After two years, what is there left to discover?) Ye, of little faith. Plenty and plenty and then some! And what’s more, with some unexpected lessons that come with having a baby and owning a house.

Ever an immigrant in a foreign land, Paletta will take you for a cultural spin as you explore Germany through her Polish-Canadian-Italian eyes. So just sit back and enjoy the humorous, witty ride. (And pour yourself a glass of wine while you’re at it.)

*May Contain Spoilers*
Agneiszka Paletta wastes no time with readers as she dives in to sharing her life experiences with the world. And as a frequent traveler, Paletta has a lot of experiences to share. This sequel, Doing Germany: Book Two, focuses on family life and therefore lays a quick foundation that readers will be able to relate to. Added bonus: having a baby and buying/fixing up a house make for a lot of quirky stories.
What I found most fascinating about this novel were the comparisons between countries and traditions. In the timeframe that Doing Germany: Book Two covers, Paletta shares stories of New Year's, Easter, Halloween (Hallowe'en?) and Christmas while pointing out obvious differences. Culture is one of those things that I find unbelievably intriguing and Paletta tells all about the German and Polish cultures as they relate to her specific experiences. (Presents under pillows instead of a tree?)
Paletta's writing style is one set for entertainment. At moments, you, as the reader, will feel as if she's talking directly to you. It's an engaging edge that she uses to bring readers into her life, as if you've known each other for years and she's just sent you an e-mail on the latest shenanigans. The way that the book is written aligns with this. The chapters are short essays laced with wit, humor, German, and Polish. They're simply fun to read.
Though not all chapters are fun. Paletta does go through a heartbreaking moment around the middle of the book and it's a big thing that people tend not to talk about: miscarriage. Paletta takes a serious step in choosing to include this in her book and it's commendable and brave. Though it seems out of character for her as an author, if anything Paletta keeps things real and that's something to love about her writing.
Rating: 3/5 Cups

Read the review of Book One: Doing Germany

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