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In an afternoon you will learn how a speeding ticket and an interest in four-part a cappella harmony intersected with the Cold War to start the protagonists on the road to holy matrimony. Along the way, you will be charmed by the author's ability to engage you in this tale. From chance encounters with President Jimmy Carter and the late Pope John Paul II to a longshoremen's strike in Rouen, France, the plot meanders through the late 1970s as it entices you into wanting to know what happens next.
The book is part adventure, part travelogue, part nostalgia, and part love story. Be prepared to be thoroughly entertained in this initial offering by a gifted storyteller. We suspect it will not be his last.
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By jc on 02-22-13
My Life With Ewa: The Early Years is a happily-ever-after story about the author's courtship of his wife Ewa (pronounced EH-va), whom he met in the 1970s during a trip to Poland with a barbershop singing group from Iowa. (He was part of a Cold War program designed to teach Eastern Bloc countries about the virtues of democracy by sending groups of ordinary Americans to eastern Europe as good-will ambassadors.) As indicated by the publisher’s summary, it is hard to decide what genre this book falls into—is it a romance, a humorous coming-of-age story, a travel book, or a lighthearted autobiography? Actually, it’s some of all of these things, but whatever it is, it’s really fun.
Since I am frequently put off by the stilted performances of first-time authors who read their own books, I was pleased to discover that in addition to being an entertaining writer, Tim Pratt is also a gifted narrator. He’s not afraid to poke fun at himself, and he has a good-natured, I’m-just-telling-a-story delivery that is coupled with a willingness to sing and tackle foreign languages and accents. He handles it all with grace and style.
The book never failed to hold my attention, and at the end, I found myself wanting to know what happened next. Even if married life turned out to be a bit more mundane than the courtship (as it often does), Mr. Pratt seems to be one of those people that unusual things happen to. Or maybe it’s just that he’s a born storyteller with the ability to make sock lint sound interesting (think Bill Bryson). Either way, I’m hoping for a sequel.
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