Running Away to Home: Our Family's Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters

Running Away to Home: Our Family's Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters

by Jennifer Wilson
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Overview

Running Away to Home: Our Family's Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters by Jennifer Wilson

A middle class, Midwestern family in search of meaning uproot themselves and move to their ancestral village in Croatia

"We can look at this in two ways," Jim wrote, always the pragmatist. "We can panic and scrap the whole idea. Or we can take this as a sign. They're saying the economy is going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe this is the kick in the pants we needed to do something completely different. There will always be an excuse not to go…"

And that, friends, is how a typically sane middle-aged mother decided to drag her family back to a forlorn mountain village in the backwoods of Croatia.

So begins the author's journey in Running Away to Home. Jen, her architect husband, Jim, and their two children had been living the typical soccer- and ballet-practice life in the most Middle American of places: Des Moines, Iowa. They overindulged themselves and their kids, and as a family they were losing one another in the rush of work, school, and activities. One day, Jen and her husband looked at each other–both holding their Starbucks coffee as they headed out to their SUV in the mall parking lot, while the kids complained about the inferiority of the toys they just got–and asked themselves: "Is this the American dream? Because if it is, it sort of sucks."

Jim and Jen had always dreamed of taking a family sabbatical in another country, so when they lost half their savings in the stock-market crash, it seemed like just a crazy enough time to do it. High on wanderlust, they left the troubled landscape of contemporary America for the Croatian mountain village of Mrkopalj, the land of Jennifer's ancestors. It was a village that seemed hermetically sealed for the last one hundred years, with a population of eight hundred (mostly drunken) residents and a herd of sheep milling around the post office. For several months they lived like locals, from milking the neighbor's cows to eating roasted pig on a spit to desperately seeking the village recipe for bootleg liquor. As the Wilson-Hoff family struggled to stay sane (and warm), what they found was much deeper and bigger than themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429989084
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/11/2011
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 582,746
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

JENNIFER WILSON is an award-winning writer who has chronicled her travels, both epic and around the corner, in National Geographic Traveler, Gourmet, Esquire, Midwest Living, Better Homes&Gardens, Frommer's Budget Travel, Parents, and Disney Family Fun. Running Away to Home was awarded Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
JENNIFER WILSON is an award-winning writer who has chronicled her travels, both epic and around the corner, in National Geographic Traveler, Gourmet, Esquire, Midwest Living, Better Homes&Gardens, Frommer’s Budget Travel, Parents, and Disney Family Fun. Running Away to Home was awarded Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

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Running Away to Home 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
PyrBon More than 1 year ago
This book is pure enjoyment from the very beginning. You don't have to be of Croatian descent to be hooked from the first page. The author, feeling restless and dissatisfied with the rat race of American life, takes her family back to the area of her ancestors for one year. There, they are connected to the old ways in an area not touched by the modern world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is pure fun for anyone like me who is of Croatian descent, has visited the country, is totally fascinated by all things Croatian, is anxious to learn more about the culture and people, and wishes to discover their own roots. The author's account of her experiece was honest, captivating in its detail, and remarkably dead-on in its portrayal of the characters. I laughed aloud numerous timrs. It was extremely humorous yet authentically moving. It really touched me. I could not have enjoyed it more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gulf_Coast_Juga More than 1 year ago
In Running Away to Home, Jennifer Wilson chronicles the adventures she shares with her family while living in Mrkopalj, Croatia and searching for her roots. The great granddaughter of Croatian immigrants , Wilson describes life in the village: a blend of old world and new. Her descriptions of the people, food, landscape, culture and political history are at times heartwarming,funny, sad and eye-opening. My husband presented this book to me, as I am also the great granddaughter of Croatian immigrants searching for her roots. Thanks Jennifer, for taking me on your trip to the "old country." I thoroughly enjoyed it.
WAZAMom More than 1 year ago
As with a good book of fiction, Jennifer Wilson’s prose in Running Away to Home transported me to another time and another place, where I also escaped suburbia and lived a simpler life for 317 pages. What made it even more captivating, however, was the fact that she was recounting her actual tale, allowing me to embrace the quirky characters even more as I envisioned them actually living out her often hilarious, yet thought-provoking anecdotes. She minces no words in describing her feelings of self-consciousness at being away from all that was safe yet mundane, and in the end she relishes in the interconnectedness of our lives and all that has transpired for her to be exactly who she is today. It’s a personal journey that the reader can plug into, since Wilson invites you inside her every emotion, meaning you never have to stand at a distance. As a bonus, you get to see, smell and taste life in a timeless Croatian mountain village where a shot of rakija is all it takes to make a few good friends. Thanks for the ride!
VDelic More than 1 year ago
Can't get my eyes off this book! So inspired by Jennifer's courage to leave everything behind and learn about her heritage, living a simple, rustic life in Croatia. Her stories are funny and candid, they transport you to the beautiful countryside of Eastern Europe. Best part is going to her blog and enjoying the pictures of the actual trip, I can put faces to the characters!
SFarrand More than 1 year ago
This book was so good! I started following the author's blog at the very beginning of her journey and loved reading about the adventures her family went through while in Croatia. I couldn't wait for the book to come out and when it did, it didn't disappoint. Thanks, Jennifer Wilson, for allowing me to travel along with your family!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I was reading this book it felt like I was experiencing her purlious mission to Croatia with her and her family
Anonymous More than 1 year ago