We journey to Canada for our next traveling mom story, a true-life tale originally published in 1962. The Curve of Time: The Classic Memoir of a Woman and Her Children Who Explored the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Northwest was written by M. Wylie Blanchet, a free-spirited mom born in Montreal in 1891.
At the age of 36, Blanchet’s husband died, leaving her alone with their five children on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Although family members said she would never manage, Blanchet did just that, and in fact made time for special journeys of discovery with her kids. For several summers, she and her children explored the waters off of Vancouver Island in Caprice, a 25-foot motorboat. She wrote several magazine articles about their travels, which eventually led to the publication of this delightful memoir about their family explorations.
Blanchet’s book is credited as a well-written Canadian classic that almost reads like fiction at times, with rich descriptions of the places and people they encounter. But it’s all real — one mom’s actual account of the adventures she took with her kids. Cool mom, huh?
I wanted to feature a book this week that had to do with the adoption process, and the journey many mothers or fathers make to bring a child from another land into their lives. Forever Lily: An Unexpected Mother’s Journey to Adoption in China is such a book, but the reviews on this memoir are mixed. Author Beth Nonte Russell accompanies her friend Alex to China, where Alex has arranged to adopt a little girl from an orphanage. But when Alex has a change of heart, it is Russell who winds up adopting the child herself. A strange turn of events indeed.
It’s a true life tale that touches on a wide range of feelings surrounding motherhood and the adoption experience, but some reviews I read claim that the elaborate dream sequences Russell shares throughout her story seem far-fetched, and only serve to distract the reader. If the plot of this real-life adoption at all sparks your interest, pick up a copy and see for yourself — Russell receives some praise for a well-written book that does a fair job of explaining the adoption process, and includes wonderful description about the experience of traveling in China.
Self-proclaimed Travel Mom Emily Kaufman has written a handy guide for mothers (and fathers!) in search of strategy when it comes to planning a family vacation. Although the reviews are mixed on just how useful this book really is, I thought The Travel Mom’s Ultimate Book of Family Travel was still worth a mention as part of this week’s Mother’s Day reading roundup.
The book is really geared to moms who need help planning their very first family vacation, so it might be a cool Mother’s Day gift for first-time moms itching for a summer vacation. It includes general trip planning advice, as well as a series of suggested family-friendly destinations. Check it out of the library before buying though, as some reviewers have said it’s really only valuable as a primer. Basically, it’s light on content that you’ll need to refer to again and again, but could really offer up some good ideas for rookie travel moms.
Kaufman has two kids of her own, and is a travel contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America and Woman’s Day magazine.
Our next pick for a travel book that celebrates motherhood is Travelers Tales inspiring Gutsy Mamas: Travel Tips and Wisdom for Mothers on the Road. Although published ten years ago, I’m sure the advice offered up by author Marybeth Bond (the official Gutsy Traveler) is a collection of timeless tips, many of which must still hold true today. This pocket guide for roaming mothers (and grandmothers) serves as a useful tool to anyone traveling with toddlers or teens in tow.
Know an expat mom raising a family overseas? Or maybe a girlfriend who’s in the midst of making multiple trips abroad to finalize an adoption? Bond dispenses invaluable tips for moms of all kinds, with suggestions on how to stay healthy and what works best for keeping kids entertained while en route. The book is also peppered with personal anecdotes from traveling mothers around the world. So whether your a great-grandmother or an expectant mom (or dad!) this book should provide some trusted travel strategies and even a touching story or two as well.
As a follow up to her first gutsy guide, Marybeth released Gutsy Women: More Travel Tips and Wisdom from the Road. She has written a wide variety of travel books for females…and we may even mention another one before this mother-loving week is through.
Today we kick off our next One for the Road weekly theme: a celebration of moms on the move! All our recommendations for the coming week will be books that explore ways in which motherhood and travel intersect. Maybe you’ll even discover a gift idea for your own mom. You’ve got plenty of time — Mother’s Day is still a full week away!
Our first suggestion is an award-winning anthology edited by Wendy Knight. Making Connections: Mother Daughter Travel Adventures is a collection of essays that looks at the mother-daughter relationship through the lens of travel and outdoor adventures. The book is more than just a bunch of stories about mother-daughter trips. Essays written by authors such as Marry Morris, Susan Spano and Ariel Gore explore the complex issues that make up mother-daughter dynamics, creatively weaving tough topics with touching travel tales. The book was awarded a 2003 Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.
We’re still finalizing this week’s mom-inspired travel book suggestions, so if you have a title recommendation related to this theme please leave a comment below and let us know. Thanks!