Did you ever ask what the life of those international people working in the world of humanitarian work looks like? How it is to change planes and homes every couple of weeks and living in unfamiliar environments? There are many who might be jealous for the frequency of travels and the exposure to new people and cultures. At the practical level, it is always at least a small problem of adaptation and search for meaning in a changing world.
One of the most things that I appreciated at Lisa McKay‘s Love at the Speed of E-mail is the style of writing. Simple, sober yet warm and able to make you understand feelings and dilemmas. Her memoir is a story of her travels from Croatia to Australia, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, but also a search for the sense of home and a family. A life spent on the road could offer a lot of excitement, but also frequent questions about the world you belongs to hence her search for faith and spirituality, the stable values in a changing universe.
Her scientific background – she has an MA in forensic psychology – could explain a writing that it might be distant at the first sight, but succeeds to explain and make the story enjoyable. If one day I would like to write a memoir, I wish I can have her style: simple, direct, honest and without any sentimental embroideries even though it deals with difficult personal choices and life decisions. She writes with the passion of the journalist that found her own literary voice. This book was my first encounter with Lisa’s writings but I would be curious to continue writing her next novels and books.
In this challenging diverse world when she needs to travel all round the year, Lisa finds time to write and through her essays she tries to define her virtual home. It is the sense of sharing her own ideas. This world of words is the home she belongs to, even after she is happily married with Mike that found her on the Internet when he was busy with his own international assignments in New Guinea. They start a month-long exchange of letters that are not only accounts of their different professional encounters but ways to discover each other and share their personal worlds and visions. Maybe what Lisa is writing about is the same old love story that only develops in a different framework. But the ways in which she is doing it gives the measure of her talent and keeps the reader involved.
The cover of the book is of elegant simplicity and suits the book. I can’t say I either like it or not but that it is very much in resonance with the book.
The conclusion: if you are about to go on vacation and you do not know what to include on your reading list, don’t forget about Lisa McKay’s book. It is always hope for love, even at the speed of e-mail.
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary copy from the author.