Wandering Through Life: A Memoir

Atlantic Monthly. Sept. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9780802161581. $26. MEMOIR
In her latest book, novelist Leon (“Guido Brunetti” mysteries; So Shall You Reap) shares her own adventures through a series of humorous nonfiction vignettes. Now 80, Leon grew up in New Jersey and spent most of her adult life living and working in Europe. She now lives in Switzerland. Her memoir invites readers into her world of adventures, and she’s certainly had plenty. To name a few, she taught English in Iran during the early part of the 1979 revolution and conducted classes in China and Saudi Arabia. She also went to Italy, where she created a life that outdoes her mysteries’ protagonist. She vividly and engagingly describes her love of crime, Venice, and opera, her dream of finding the perfect cappuccino (more difficult than one might imagine), and the games she created with friends throughout the world.
VERDICT Leon's wit and life well-lived will draw in varied audiences, who can live vicariously through her. Fans of her series will certainly enjoy this memoir and the brief letter she includes to dissuade them from trying to find Guido Brunetti at the Questura.
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