Book Review: Love and Other U-Turns by Louisa Deasey

Posted August 27th, 2010 by in

This article was originally published in Onya Magazine but here I offer you the opportunity to win a copy of the book.

Love and Other U-Turns by Louisa Deasey

Adventure calls in Louisa Deasey’s latest memoir after she meets unlikely comedian Jim at a wacky astrology night and leaves her stable city life to join him on a year-long road trip across Australia. The latte-loving freelance journalist from Melbourne packs up her flat in busy Fitzroy and takes the reader on an intimate journey through one of the biggest risks she has ever taken. With nothing more than her laptop in tow and a supply of low maintenance clothes, life becomes simplified living out of a Mazda travelling through the outback every day. But what more do you want when you realise you have everything you could possibly need to get by, including the love of your life?

The book is particularly interesting for readers with an interest in journalism and freelance writing as the author documents how she filed stories for leading newspapers while on the road, sent emails to editors from “dinosaur-slow” internet cafes in the outback, and even landed a weekly fashion column while bar hopping with comedian Jim. This experience in itself highlights how living and working freelance can be done with very little; Louisa needed nothing more than an internet connection here and there and some solid hours to devote to her writing each week to keep up with the commissions.

And perhaps leaving everything traditional behind in favour of an unpredictable daily lifestyle was just the thing Louisa needed to take her career to the next level. The author shares this view us, both in life and work experiences, describing how “the universe must have liked their lack of desperation” and realising that “not caring too much seems to get you exactly what you need.” Experiences like this seem to shape the author’s thoughts and appear to be exactly what she set out to discover when embarking on this seemingly wild trip. But it’s in times like these that she learns something new about herself including how much she can tolerate, stripped of all the superficial things the fast-paced, technology-driven city life seems to bring with it.

The author describes how she was forced to look inward when she had no possessions or a place to belong to. “I question twenty-nine years worth of habits and values. The fact that up until now, I’ve always needed daily stimulation…” Moments like these flutter in and out of the storyline, offering the reader the opportunity to contemplate how they would feel if placed in a similar circumstance all the while offering subtle, yet fascinating insights into what is a very complex view of life.

The story is an exploration of the balance between needs and wants, passion and security and realising what it really takes to feel content. Set against the backdrop of the harsh Australian outback, where life is often more confronting than in the city, this novel highlights interesting lessons in life and love. But is life on the road enough to keep her away from the true city girl that she is?

Love and Other U-Turns by Louisa Deasey is out now. (Allen & Unwin, RRP $32.99)

To win a copy of this book simply post a comment below that describes your fondest memory of a travel adventure and what you learnt from it. The most interesting and original entry will win. Entries close at 5pm AEST Monday 6 September 2010. Good luck!


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