Someone recommended this with an It’s that book about the two girls who travel to China and then everything goes to shit. And you guys KNOW how I feel about books in which things go to shit (I love them so. hard.) so I sort of had no choice.
So. Susie and Claire (real name changed for reasons that later become obvious) graduate from Brown in the mid-eighties and are DRUNK on their own EDUCATION and YOUTH and INSUPPORTABLE EGOS and decide to circumnavigate the globe. As one does.
And this is the eighties, so China = COMMUNIST CHINA EGADS. You need, like, eighty paperworks just to get IN, never mind getting out. So they’re in, and it’s dirty and loud and Not Very Friendly and they are both sort of like, This sucks. But travelling! And being young and committed to Authentic Experiences As Opposed To All That Tourist Crap, So We’ll Stay At This Cockroach-Riddled Shit Hole Emergency Credit Cards Be Damned!
And things very slowly go to shit. But by about the middle, it’s clear that Claire is either BATSHIT INSANE or completely NOT batshit insane in which case she actually IS being followed by secret agents on account of her father is a very important American business man and also Claire once fooled around with one of The Help who turned out to be an Israeli and possibly also a SPY and I would totally be like
except that earlyish on in the book, Susie is all, I often wonder what would have happened if I had not dismissed her suspicions so quickly, and I am like SHIT MAYBE CLAIRE IS NOT INSANE AFTER ALL and it became unputdownable yes I used that horrible non-word it is totally applicable here.
And I won’t tell you what happened but if you are, say, my parents, you are all Oh yes, I remember hearing about that on the news. Which always sort of jolts me because while on the one hand I SEE the word ‘memoir’ on the other hand I am like, THIS IS IN A BOOK and therefore fiction. But no.