Rebecca Wallace is a longtime journalist and sometime actor. She's been prowling newsrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area since the '90s, with two years off for good behavior to live in Budapest, where she sang with a country-western band. Her beats have included the arts, local government and health. She lives in California with her husband and their two Australian shepherds. Follow her on Twitter at @wallacewords.
Smiling at Strangersby Rebecca Wallace
Silicon Valley crime reporter Catherine Giotto is perfectly content chasing cop cars, scooping the competition and living life tethered to her pager and police scanner. Then the dotcom bust hits her newsroom hard, and everything familiar is shattered. Escape beckons in the form of an apartment offered by
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Job: Gone. Relationship: Flailing. Passport ... Check.
Silicon Valley crime reporter Catherine Giotto is perfectly content chasing cop cars, scooping the competition and living life tethered to her pager and police scanner. Then the dotcom bust hits her newsroom hard, and everything familiar is shattered. Escape beckons in the form of an apartment offered by a friend – an apartment in Budapest, of all places.
Overseas, Catherine finds herself lost in a country where people put their last names first and say "hallo" for "goodbye." As she struggles to find work in the Hungarian capital, she slowly starts carving out a new kind of life. One where she takes time to marvel at the first snow, learns to cook mushroom paprikás and begins having a social life (with Johnny Cash fans at the local pub). And what is with that trilingual IT guy who keeps showing up everywhere?
But in a place where Catherine can barely count to three in the local language, let alone conduct a news interview, she'll have to make sense of Hungary – and break a story big enough to get her a job – pretty darn soon. Or she's going to end up back home and broke, and even more defeated than before.
-- Join and interact with Catherine on Twitter --
"All cops reporters hear voices. It’s OK. It’s just the scanner." -Catherine Giotto, @reporter1999 on Twitter
- Ballyhoo Press
- Publication date:
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- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
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- 706 KB
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So, I read, on average, about 5-8 books a week.... depending on whether I have read them before or not. I also read mostly SciFi/Fantasy with Mystery and some horror thrown in. I have always wanted to write my own stories, but I do not possess the skills to bring them to life. (Which is ok...someone has to be the reader) Generally I stay away from straight fiction, because it tends to be, well, depressingly true to life. I read to escape and for entertainment, not to cry over other people’s troubles. I also tend to shy away from first time authors as they may not have found their feet. It takes real talent to bring a story to life. A truly gifted person can do this with well-crafted characters...flaws intact, fantastic locations and a comprehensive (and comprehensible) plot. That being said… I completely enjoyed this book. Catherine is human, and yes while she suffered, she went through it doggedly towards becoming the person she was meant to be. She made mistakes, owned up to them and overcame them. Yes, she initially ran away from her problems, but sometimes the distance one needs to deal with great pain is a geographical one. Fair Disclaimer, I know Rebecca Wallace, and the reason I bought and read this book was because a friend had written it. I was thinking "well, it’s not my thing, but I'll read it and say it was a nice book." And while straight fiction still not my thing, this is much more than a “nice book”. Rebecca’s love and respect for Hungary, the people, the traditions and the beauty of Budapest just shine through this book. And her own experience “prowling bay area newsrooms”, and living in Budapest for two years while she sang in a country western band add a depth of feeling and knowledge that give this book heft. If you enjoy travel fiction, stories about reporters, stories about overcoming loss or just a darn good story I strongly recommend you check this out.