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Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman Paperback – Mar 12 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; New title edition (March 12 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375758453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375758454
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I purchased "Without Reservations" after returning home from a quick trip to Europe. You see I had left my heart there and I needed a quick fix while pining away at home waiting for yet another friend to venture out and dare get a passport.
Alice Steinbach writes with a capturing style about her adventures abroad (England, Paris, Italy etc..) all alone. For once a woman who believes in experience over fear! She is a mother, divorced, successful and still desiring a fulfilling life. I admire her spirit and enthusiasm for life. While capturing her inner fears she relies on her wit and knowledge to overcome what would leave most of us sitting at home cowering in a corner.
Ms. Steinbach meets interesting people along the way, a fashionable older woman in Paris, a Japanese man who shares her love of Monet, a young student eager to grow and many others. She inspires one to want to reach out and learn something from the others around us, not for gossip, but for true wealth of character. I believe after reading this book I will no longer seek the security of familar travel partners but instead search for a lesser known commodity, me, a suitcase, a destination and a dream! Sounds exciting to me!
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By takingadayoff on April 22 2004
Format: Hardcover
Who doesn't dream of quitting her job and traveling the world? Alice Steinbach wangles a leave of absence from her job and goes to Europe -- the dream with training wheels. Even though she has the security of knowing her home and job are waiting for her and she goes to countries that are comfortably strange, it is still a big leap for her. She makes the most of it and tells a great story.
Steinbach seems to make friends everywhere she goes. She travels with the attitude of a college student backpacking through Europe, hooking up with temporary friends at each stop. She treats her affair with Naohiro like a summer romance, intense, but sure to be temporary. Sometimes you forget that she is a middle-aged woman with two grown sons and a responsible career back home.
And that is the point. She wants to see who she is when the responsibilities of adulthood are stripped away. Is the young woman who wasn't afraid to take chances still there somewhere? Who is Alice Steinbach when she is not defined as "mother" and "reporter"? In nine months of travels through Paris, Britain, and Italy, she gradually sheds her inhibitions and fears, and gets reacquainted with living for the day.
Without Reservations is an upbeat, sometimes bittersweet, narrative of what feels like a prelude to a bigger leap. I am looking forward to her next book, Educating Alice.
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By A Customer on March 5 2004
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book and will miss spending time following Ms. Steinbach around on her travels,reading her musings on her life and the world around her. It is a book that will resonate with women who have empty nest. I completely identified with her; having 2 sons myself, 2 cats and terminal wanderlust. She writes so eloquently of how she feels when her children are grown and independant. It's her personal journey to find out how she fits into this new life-without-children. She christens it by taking time off to travel for 9 months alone to discover, who she is, was and who she will become. Even though most people will not be able to do as she did, it does not affect the enjoyment of the book. It is written in a very warm style and you will end the book wishing that in your travels, you will bump into her.
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Format: Paperback
I liked this book because it opened up my mind to the opportunities available to those of us post children. The basis is that there will be a chance for self discovery and adventure once we let go of those of us who were once dependent on us.
It's both a travelog, I ate here, I met these people, I went there, it was fun. And a journey of letting go of the calendar, of people I used to depend on. Its also a journey of a single day, as in I planned to do this, but found myself here instead. Yet if I had followed my original path that would have been ok too. On the otherhand its not so detailed as to be a replacement for a Fodors travel guide.
I'm saving for my extended trip to Paris. I hope after reading this book you do to.
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Format: Paperback
This would have to rank as the most tedious, self-indulgent drivel I have ever had the misfortune to read. Fooled by the attractive package and the lure of a Pulitzer Prize winning author, I asked my husband to get me this for my birthday - I would have abandoned it after the first chapter otherwise. If you want a good book about living in another country try Sarah Turnbull's "Almost French".
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Format: Paperback
Without Reservations is a delightful tale of a mid-age woman rediscovering her life. Alice Steinbach is for the first time in many years a truly "independent woman," without the constraints of young children to take care of, a job that tethers her to an office, and other habits that define many of us.
Steinbach writes about her months in Europe and her journey into independence through Paris, Oxford, London, and Italy. Through her trip she meets a young girl getting married, women who she befriends, and a man she shares Paris with. Through these friends she writes about what it means to find herself again. Steinbach has many attention-grabbing insights into what it means to be an independent woman who chooses to look at her life through travel.
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