#MTW2017 Down and Out in Kathmandu: Jennifer S. Alderson

Reviewed by: TBBManiac Robs

31327611The Book
Zelda Richardson has hit that point in her life where it just doesn’t feel…right. Her job is not bringing her any fulfillment and she feels like she’s wasting her life and missing out on potentially incredible experiences while stuck behind her desk. Taking the decision to quit and sign up for a volunteer program teaching kids in Kathmandu, Nepal may not have been the easiest thing to do, but she’s going to make a go of it, even if it kills her. Meeting Ian at the airport little does she realise that their paths will cross with potentially devastating consequences.

What I liked
1. My aunt travelled to Nepal, she also stayed with locals and helped out at schools and I truly appreciated the personal connection that immediately came with this book. It felt like I knew the concept having read so many of my Aunts blog posts.
2. Zelda doesn’t go to Nepal bursting with confidence and I imagine that this’d be how I would react too… hesitant, a little unsure about whether it was the right decision. But still damned determined to make it work. It’s something many experience – that feeling that a change is needed – but that few follow through on.
3. There’s a subtle hint of humour and wit in Down and Out which I enjoyed, though I admit it may not capture many, I found myself chuckling at a few of the characters and their responses to the situations in which they found themselves.
4. Ian. Ah the underwhelming, slightly dodgy Aussie. I love Australians. My god father is Australian. My uncle and his family are too. He’s bumbling and silly and hopeless but has such an amazing heart and desire for adventure. I loved him.
5. Tommy. Now that guy. I initially didn’t like him. The typical macho male, arrogant and cocky and almost contaminated with ego issues. But, for some reason I really enjoyed him. He had me sitting there thinking that I really, really shouldn’t like him, but he’s so… oblivious, it’s funny. Like, he tries to be a badass but really just ends up looking like an emotional donkey.

What I disliked
1. It was a bit too slow in progression. I had anticipated far more action on the diamond lord front, and while we do get to see quite a bit of the dark underworld of diamond smuggling, it’s only much later in the book where it picks up to being really captivating.
2. The reaction she has when saying goodbye to her Nepalese family confused me. I mean, she spends most of her time disliking them, and I’ll admit I feel she was justified there, but then suddenly finds enlightenment and understanding only to still run away without looking back? I dunno… it just didn’t sit well with me.
3. In fact, her entire reaction to her family and their ways was a bit off. I mean, they’re opening their home up to you – be a little more pleasant about it? I dunno if I just caught the wrong end of the stick here though so yeah…
4. Zelda is waaaaayyyyy to judgy. I mean, she’s not exactly perfect but seems to spend a fair amount of time identifying the not-to-pleasant in others. Battling her own insecurities and fears I’d have expected her to embrace people with a bit more openness. Maybe I misunderstood her?

While it could have been a little quicker in pace, I really enjoyed it. It shows just how easily one can succumb to temptation, and also that every dog does indeed get his day. Adventure, diamonds, travel and culture abound and while I may not have seen eye to eye with her, I look forward to meeting Zelda again on her next adventure.

Review Rating: 3/5

More Information:

Published by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition

Published Date: December 16, 2015

Genre:  Action & Adventure



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