book review

Give Me the World Give Me the World by Leila Hadley

My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
Since I can’t give this book 4.5 stars, I rounded it up to five. This is the travelogue of Leila Hadley, a 25-year-old who embarks on a journey around the world via plane, train, and (mostly) sailing vessel, with her small son in tow. She does this in the 1950s, when such an action raises eyebrows. But throughout the book it’s clear Hadley does not mind what people think of her. She’s spunky, but she has limits.

The appeal of this book, for me, lies not with Hadley as an individual but with her capability as a writer. She is brilliant. Her descriptions of India, of the Middle East, of Greece, and of sailing for months on a schooner with four scruffy Americans — all are astonishing in their clarity and beauty. More than almost any other author I’ve read, Hadley painted complete pictures in my mind. I feel like I went along for the ride and emerged, at the other end of her book, with my own vivid memories of the streets of Bombay and the ruins at Rhodes. Travelers or not, everyone should taste Hadley’s prose: it’s like eating a slice of literary cheesecake.

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One Response

  1. Literary cheesecake, huh? Do you own the book, or is it from the library? Can’t wait to check it out!

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