When trying to have it all—big house, travel writing career, children with an upscale mix of play-dates and extracurriculars—left her feeling trapped Jennifer Wilson and her architect husband decided to simplify their lives by spending part of a year exploring Wilson’s family roots in Mrkopalj, a tiny village in the mountains of Croatia. Nothing, of course, went as expected. The village life was more primitive, the Croatian dialect was more obscure and having endless free time to spend with her husband and young children left Wilson feeling more aimless and adrift than she anticipated. Though the trip was her idea, Wilson’s husband and children made friends and acclimated to their new life sooner than she did, but Wilson kept working at breaking through her own barriers. One smart move was making peach cobblers and delivering them to all the neighbors, which brought her thanks, new friendships and invitations to learn village recipes and crafts. The best part of the book for me was having the sensation that I was on a journey too. Wilson writes with clear-eyed, open honesty so it felt like I was experiencing her dizzy disorientation and eventual triumphs rather than just reading about them.