Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Mar 23, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
286 Reviews
Paris

Dear Alice,

Each morning I am awakened by the sound of a tinkling bell. A cheerful sound, it reminds me of the bells that shopkeepers attach to their doors at Christmastime. In this case, the bell marks the opening of the hotel door. From my room, which is just off the winding staircase, I can hear it clearly. It reminds me of the bell that calls to worship the novice embarking on a new life. In a way I too am a novice, leaving, temporarily, one life for another.

Love,
Alice


In the tradition of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea and Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun, in Without Reservations we take time off with Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Steinbach as she explores the world and rediscovers what it means to be a woman on her own.

"In many ways, I was an independent woman," writes Alice Steinbach, a single working mother, in this captivating book. "For years I'd made my own choices, paid my own bills, shoveled my own snow, and had relationships that allowed for a lot of freedom on both sides." Slowly, however, she saw that she had become quite dependent in another way: "I had fallen into the habit . . . of defining myself in terms of who I was to other people and what they expected of me." Who am I, she wanted to know, away from the things that define me--my family, children, job, friends? Steinbach searches for the answer to this provocative question in some of the most exciting places in the world: Paris, where she finds a soul mate in a Japanese man; Oxford, where she takes a course on the English village; Milan, where she befriends a young woman about to be married. Beautifully illustrated with postcards Steinbach wrote home to herself to preserve her spontaneous impressions, this revealing and witty book will transport readers instantly into a fascinating inner and outer journey, an unforgettable voyage of discovery.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Liked the writing, liked the premise... - Goodreads
The ending felt rushed. - Goodreads
Easy to read book, enjoyable and evocative. - Goodreads
Her prose is simple and interesting. - Goodreads
Alice is a talented writer. - Goodreads
I thought the writing was a little too self-conscious. - Goodreads

Review: Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman

User Review  - Lana - Goodreads

I was impressed with the courage of the writer and her willingness to share her journey into the unknown and into her own heart. I felt I was right there with her on every page, in every town. I liked hearing her thoughts and experiences. It was like traveling with a good friend. Read full review

Review: Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman

User Review  - Florence - Goodreads

Alice's travels were peasant and interesting if not particularly courageous. She visited places that are very welcoming to tourists. I was surprised that she joined an organized group of Americans in ... Read full review

About the author (2011)

Alice Steinbach, whose work at the Baltimore Sun was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1985, has been a freelance writer since 1999. She was appointed the 1998-1999 McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton University and is currently a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information