The Devil Wears Clogs by Jennifer Burge (5 out of 5)
Jennifer Burge is a lovely person. How do I know this? Email. And she was awesome enough to send me a galley for her book, The Devil Wears Clogs. Psst! She may be doing an event with the bookstore(s) I work for. Soon. Psst! Tell everyone! I love travel essays; armchair travel; memoirs settled around a person out searching for peace of mind and purpose. Jennifer’s memoir could pass as all three. I used to read more “armchair travel” books, but it made me want to travel in a time I cannot (caregiving takes a lot of that chance away), so I stopped. This is precisely the type of book I need to read to get those ideas cooking in the thought pot again. Thank you again, Jennifer, for sending me a copy.
Jennifer grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, and always(like many of us!) had the dream of living and working in Europe. Always be careful what you wish for? Jennifer gets her chance when she relocates to the Heidelburg, Germany. Wait..Heidelburg, Germany???? It certainly isn’t London, Austria, or Paris. It’s…Germany! Jennifer takes the chance and relocates. Things are not exactly wine and roses. I learned a lot about what the business world overseas would expect and surprise you with, if I were ever able to journey that way. The Germans have a stiff upper lip and some rather unique regulations that will make you shake your head. I did shake my head a few times. I also laughed quite a few times. Jennifer’s book does kind of give you a crash course in what to expect if you’re not at all prepared for what you may get when you get there- she wasn’t, and she makes no secret of that. Her experiences in Holland give her a reason to continue living abroad, and again, you learn a lot from what she went through when she landed over there, and while she was righting herself and finally landing on her feet. Here’s the thing: Jennifer tells you the truth, but where there are water spouts, there are also rainbows. You find many a positive message here. There are the atypical professional double edged swords- usually, those buried in your back by competitive colleagues. It’s good to know that these things don’t just go on in everyday USA- but also across the world. I had a lot of fun reading this book. I love a good business book once in a while, and I felt like Jennifer managed to merge the two genres with ease, with fun, with wisdom, and with a lot of heart. You could do worse than to pick up her book and give it a good read, and pass it onto any professional woman who may or may not harbor dreams of an international career. We can only hope that she follows it up with another book or two!