Just in case you wondered, How to Fall in Love With A Man Who Lives in A Bush is not set in the wilds of Africa and the protagonist is certainly no Jane Goodall.
An engaging and entertaining journey of self realization across the turbulent oceans of the earth, How to fall in Love is a story of boy meets girl.
No wait, dirty boy meets very clean girl.
This is a true story; of how Emmy, a Swedish actress and author, met her partner, Viv; a Canadian who was travelling, surviving on odd jobs and living rough - yes, in a bush.
It's kismet - fate - as they sit together on a park bench in Austria; Julia looks into his eyes, and falls for Ben's sense of humour (that and the size of him!).
Yet the two are very different people:
Ben : You live your life so...safely. I've seen how you never take any risks.
Julia: And that's news? I told you the very first time we were on the Donausinel: that I don't like surprises...
I'm actually so sick of the myth that adventurous people are somehow better than the rest of us. That you're only worthy of attention if you've swum naked in the Ganges or stroked a dolphin. "Oh look at me! I'm covered in mud at a music festival where there are no toilets. I'm so cool!" (p.107).
Will the two find a middle ground?
Julia's stay at home, safe character is hilarious in the wild:
I'm going camping. I've never been camping before. I'm an indoor person. Nothing makes me more nervous than a sunny, cloudless day, because I know I should be outside, doing the kind of thing outdoorsy people do...The closest I've come to being a nature person was when I hiked in the Lainzer Tiergarten one time. I tried to impress (Rebecca and Jesus-Jakob) with my knowledge of nature but almost managed to kill (them) by mistaking lily-of-the-valley for wild garlic. (pp176-7).
Emmy Abrahamson's first book for adults is laugh out loud funny and not sickly romantic at all. (Julia can't even kiss Ben at first, until he's cleaned his teeth.)
My kind of romance.
How to fall in love with a man who lives in a bush
by Emmy Abrahamson
Published by HarperCollins New Zealand