Andrew Johnston, an Australian wine writer, goes to Dubrovnik to prepare an article for his editor on the wines and wineries of southern Rhône. He never realized how this trip will impact his life until an old acquaintance crosses his path bringing new surprises and challenges. In author Angus Kennedy's Two Tickets To Dubrovnik, readers will follow Andrew as he composes his editorial piece-while facing the conflicting challenges between his heart and his head. They will be compelled to take deep breaths, discover insights, and witness a beautiful story of life, a little romance, and the clash of two very different cultures.
The historic walled city of Dubrovnik, the heart of the ancient Republic of Ragusa and now part of Croatia, provides the setting for Australian wine writer, Andrew Johnston, who travels there to prepare an article on the wines and wineries of the southern Rhône region of France. During his stay in Dubrovnik, he meets up with an old Bordelaise wine making acquaintance, Lucien Delasalles, and is introduced to his family connections in the city, including his sister, Niki. Andrew is attracted to Niki but is warned by his landlady about Niki's brother, Jakov, and his unsavoury friends, and against becoming too close to Niki's family. Interested and intrigued by Niki and her family, Andrew devotes more of his time to them and endeavours to discover more about the facts underlying the veiled warning that he has received. In spite of inviting the attentions of the local police, Andrew perseveres with his enquires but control of his life is taken out of his hands as he sees his ordered existence and his developing interest in Niki being blown away by the unfolding events surrounding her family. The time-enduring environment of the ancient town provides a sharp contrast to the rapidly moving events in this modern Balkan world and the outcome reflects the complex relationships that have always existed among people, no matter how apparently stable their environment.
In its unexpected conclusion, readers will find themselves with Andrew back in Australia, reminiscing on his short stay in Dubrovnik and the many things that happened. Two Tickets To Dubrovnik will leave them with questions and a desire for more stories of the same kind.
"Two Tickets to Dubrovnik is a novella centered on the bittersweet memories of an Australian wine writer's visit to Croatia. Tightly written, the book is filled with information about the area's history and could even work as something of a travel guide to Dubrovnik. Higher stakes might have made this a more compelling read, but Kennedy promises only a tale in which the control of his protagnoist's life is taken from his hands, and in that he delivers. Still, the setting and history are expertly drawn, as is the protagonist's unfortunate dilemma. Readers looking for a well-written, simple tale set in an old country steeped in history and color should find this a satisfying escape." BlueInk Review
"People interested in Croatia's complicated history will find this book appealing." Clarion Review
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