Lots of people feel they’ve seen and read it all. Such a person might pass up on Reading Travel Secrets because it’s “just another novel about a transformation of a shy woman into a confident one.”
Other than the fact that I love books about transformations like these, today I’d like to focus on a different value my novel offers. Travel Secrets: Book One – Rio de Janeiro offers the reader a window onto the heroine’s mind, brightly illuminating her thought processes in great detail.
This means that I didn’t let my heroine, Rachel Moore, get away with anything!
Rachel is thoughtful about her relationship with her hot, tour guide Otavio, and about relationships in general, the nature of sex, loving, and even kissing. If you stick with the trilogy, you will witness Rachel forming a solid idea of what femininity and masculinity are all about, views developed mainly after her eye-opening journey in Paris and Bordeaux in book two. She also delves into the nature of friendship with women, which includes two very different New York besties, to which I’ve added and contrasted Brazilian and French women. Rachel’s women-only tour in France’s wine country also helps shed a unique light on the nature of womanhood as well as stress the fact that the driving force behind Rachel’s actions is her career.
One of the things hardest on Rachel is confronting her automatic thinking habits, admitting they’re flawed, and changing them. For instance, when it comes to addressing the issue of body image, Rachel has to question her habit of criticism of her own or others’ bodies, a habit she’s learned from her mom at a very tender age and is hardly realizing she’s doing. Here’s a quote about what she thinks of her new, Brazilian girlfriends during a bachelorette party, one in which they’re each required to perform a striptease:
“Thinking about these women’s sweetness made me feel bad at the judgmental way I’d just looked at them, the way I’d learned from my mother over the years. I’d scanned their naked bodies like The Terminator, noting any little flaw, like cellulite or acne, in some sort of an inventory in my mind, all to be filed in the feel-good folder called Nobody’s Perfect.”
Travel Secrets brims with insight into women’s psyche. As one of my male readers phrased it in his review: “Travel Secrets is a fun and insightful personal growth story about a young woman that men can enjoy too! The protagonist is a young woman, and one thing male readers can gain from it (especially through the first person narration) is to better empathize with women by seeing her struggles and how she responds
In part 2 of Reasons to read Travel Secrets, I will address the issue of transformation through travel. Rachel’s encounter with a different culture helps open her eyes to new possibilities of existence and adopt a calmer, more benevolent state of being, whether with herself or with others. I hope you pick up Travel Secrets and let me know what you think.