Book Reviews

Review: Doing Germany by Agnieszka Paletta

Doing Germany

I was kindly sent a free digital copy of this memoir  ‘Doing Germany’ from the author Agnieszka Paletta.  It’s a funny account of moving to and living in Germany from someone who’s completely unused to the culture, here is my review:

Moving to a new country, leaving behind your friends, family and old way of life can be hard but that’s exactly what Agniesszka Paletta did when she moved to Germany to be with the man she loves. In this funny memoir of her new life in a country where she can’t even speak the language you’ll find out what it’s really like to live in Germany through the eyes of someone completely new and unaccustomed to the culture.

This is a funny and interesting book which has resulted in mixed reviews. I have to be honest and say that when I started reading this book I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it and would have given it 3 stars. Paletta’s style of writing is fun and easy to read but her immediate observations of the German people and cultural traditions were very stereotypical and ones that could irritate some readers. However the more I’ve read this book the more I’ve enjoyed it and I think some people who have given this lower star ratings have simply not read to the end, or don’t enjoy her sense of humour.

Her memoir is a very personal experience of living in Germany. I wouldn’t call this a travel memoir so much as a simple memoir as despite visiting some areas around Germany, many of the experiences are more everyday such as bike riding in Germany or what it’s like to shop in a supermarket there, quite interesting actually. I’ve never personally been to Germany though I do know of some of their cultural customs but this book still taught me a lot of things I just didn’t know.

At first Paletta’s observations can seem a little ditzy in her manner and over-stereotypical and she often compares Germany to her beloved Italy and makes it seem that Germany is an unpleasant alternative to live in, however through reading further into this you can see that she develops a soft spot for certain things and ultimately makes a new and successful life in her new country.

I think this memoir may appeal slightly more to women than men and also more to those who aren’t so clued up on German culture, although German’s themselves who don’t mind a poke at their way of life may enjoy this too. There is one use of the s swear word and other than that I would say that some teens might enjoy reading.

I really liked the end of the book. What she and ‘M’, her love, go through at the end was, honest, wonderful and the way it all happened was quite funny. I can’t wait to read more in the sequel to this book.

Rating: 4/5

Review published on Goodreads, click here

Author’s website:  http://agnieszkapaletta.com/

Book Description:

DOING GERMANY is a series of books for those who are looking  this more than once. Call it reckless or fearless, that is she.

This laid-back, entertaining book is the story of this Polish-Canadian-lover-of-Italy’s move to Germany, a new frontier. Through her eyes, discover the curiosities of her surroundings; love some and gape at others, yearn for home, try to buy one, laugh with her and at her.

DOING GERMANY is travel writing at its best: a funny, irresistible portrait of Germany, set against the backdrop of Paletta’s relationship and vigorous loyalties as well as her devotion to Poland, Canada and Italy.’for an easy read and to laugh.

Agnieszka Paletta did what most of us only dream about doing – she quit her job, family and friends and travelled to live in a foreign country. And what’s more, she did this more than once. Call it reckless or fearless, that is she.

This laid-back, entertaining book is the story of this Polish-Canadian-lover-of-Italy’s move to Germany, a new frontier. Through her eyes, discover the curiosities of her surroundings; love some and gape at others, yearn for home, try to buy one, laugh with her and at her.

DOING GERMANY is travel writing at its best: a funny, irresistible portrait of Germany, set against the backdrop of Paletta’s relationship and vigorous loyalties as well as her devotion to Poland, Canada and Italy.

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