“Book Review: Home Is Where the RV Is”
Reviewed by Jaylynn Korrell
A wild ride home where the road gets longer and longer
Who doesn’t love a good road trip story? Travelers and dreamers alike will be drawn to Gerri Almand’s latest book Home Is Where the RV Is, as she navigates long-term RV life. With emphatic prose, Almand takes us on a journey across America while perfectly wrapping in all of the emotions that it can bring up.
When Almand and her husband Michael decide to do a lengthy road trip in their RV, it’s clear that one of them is more enthusiastic than the other. While Michael is willing to leave it all behind, Gerri frets on the things she’ll miss about home: her garden, her community, the comforts of the home itself. Still, she agrees to this months-long trip, fueled on by wanting to appease her husband and also by her love of author Henry David Thoreau. Gerri longs for a break from the life that society encourages. With the hope of this trip being her Walden moment, she saddles up for what we soon find is a trip with many ups and downs.
There may not be a better person to follow along for a road trip story than Gerri Almand. As she travels across the country and back several times, she jumps into the thick of every situation. If a nudist bar is down the corner, you better believe she’s making the detour and grabbing a wine at the bar. Through folk festivals, NASCAR events, small towns, happy endings, and the Alaskan bush, we see things through the eyes of someone who has already seen so much, and still continues to push the boundaries.
With so much adventure and newness in such a short period of time comes obvious hardships and tough realizations. On her journey, Almand experiences instances of hardship, death, marital disagreements, and deep ponderings on her life as a whole. But she also experiences the good things like pure joy, excitement, and understanding. It’s a breath of fresh air to hear first-hand accounts of someone with so much life experience who is still adding more to her plate and attempting to figure it all out. While there’s only a small possibility that you’ll cry during this book, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll be laughing.
RV enthusiasts will get a good dose of what RV life is actually like. Almand doesn’t pretend like this lifestyle is glamorous all the time. More often, she’s in an all-out war with various insects in her mobile home. Through her story, you’ll hear about RV malfunctions, blackwater tank issues, flat tires, and more. They are all just accepted parts of being on the road, and without dwelling on it too much, Almand makes sure that you know that the journey isn’t without its issues. She also does a great job of disguising education in her book, as she tells brief histories of many places while bringing it naturally into the narrative.
My only complaint is that she’s too hard on herself. In her honest prose, she showcases a sympathetic narrator that will have any reader rooting for her. So much so that I could hardly stand for anyone to criticize her—especially herself! I read this story in awe of her ability to dissect a situation, her willingness to try new things, and her vulnerability. I know it’s not polite to talk about people’s age, but this woman and her husband are doing casual 20-mile bike rides, hiking for miles, and driving for even longer at nearly 70 years old. You cannot read this book and walk away uninspired by their pursuits and the way they’re choosing to spend their time. It is incredible at any age.
You’re going to love Home is Where the RV is. It’s easy to read, generally light, and there is something in it for everyone. Travelers will feel kinship through their many journeys, and dreamers will feel inspired by her accomplishments and gorgeous descriptions of America.
Publisher: Brown Posey Press
Category: Auto & RV Travel (Nonfiction)
Paperback: 258 pages
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