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After fifty-two combined years in the corporate fast lane, Marilyn Abraham and her husband, Sandy MacGregor, embarked on an adventure that every work-driven professional dreams about but hardly ever has the courage to realize. They quit their jobs and hit the road ...
After fifty-two combined years in the corporate fast lane, Marilyn Abraham and her husband, Sandy MacGregor, embarked on an adventure that every work-driven professional dreams about but hardly ever has the courage to realize. They quit their jobs and hit the road in order to retrain themselves in the art of living. For almost a year, the couple traveled nearly 20,000 miles to thirty-one states, including Washington, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Tennessee, and through seven Canadian provinces to Alaska, in the hulking RV they named Sue.
More than just a travelogue, First We Quit Our Jobs is the story of recreating one's life and discovering what is real, what is true, and what is important. Filled with visions of Americana, this personal and touching memoir traces the author's search for meaning in this modern day.
The whirl of publishing had finally gotten to Abraham (most recently vice president and editor in chief at Simon & Schuster Trade Paperbacks) and her husband, Sandy. They wanted to scale back, grab ahold of their lives. They bought an RV (Abraham never claims to be another Kerouac, and besides, Sandy had once contracted armpit crabs in an Alaskan dive, so they wanted a secure cocoon), rented out their home, and pointed west by northwest. What follows is the story of their trip from New York City to Alaska, then back to the East Coast. Abraham might have hoped that rubbing lunchtime shoulders with writers would transmit some of their magic to her, but it didn't. Her writing is self-conscious and clunky, though also disarmingly, agreeably frank, her regional impressions worn right there on her sleeve. She conveys an urbanite's surprised thrill at Manitoba's checkered plains and falls deeply in awe of Alaska's grandness, which leads her to tune in to the music of the spheres, to feel time expand. Abraham expands as well, delighting in the pleasures of her mate, food, and corporate-world-bashing. But as she tends south and east, the old bogeymen haunt her again: where to live, how to pay the bills. Westward she searched for circadian rhythms, eastward she scours real estate, the escapee becoming the wanabee. Colorado? Santa Fe? No longer kicked-back or wide-eyed, Abraham is as frantic to find a new home as she ever was back at the salt mines, the leaden prose whining and grating, her urgency without appeal.
Abraham the dreamer felt cut from honest cloth; Abraham the overachiever, who has won out by book's end, is a bad copy.