Lead Review

  • Book: The Backpacking Housewife
  • Location: Thailand
  • Author: Janice Horton

Review Author: tripfiction



The Backpacking Housewife reads like a memoir and indeed many of the scenarios experienced by the author in her own life are reflected in the novel; it is fiction conjured up in the mind of the author. Lorraine Anderson – Lori – discovers her husband of many years has been having an affair, and the sad part is that travelling the world beckoned as retirement age approached for both of them. It is clearly not to be… Lori, however, is made of determined stuff and she sets off with nothing, other than hand luggage, for Bangkok. And from there finds the courage and grit to travel on her own and explore Thailand and Malaysia.

Now, Bangkok is one of those airports, as she well describes in the novel – and talks about below – that is an overwhelming place after many hours confined in an aircraft. The noise, bedlam and heat are an onslaught on the senses and it can be very difficult to find the courage to move into the eddying and teaming city.

Lori faces her fear and checks into a swish hotel, just for one night whilst she gets her head together and once she finds her feet, she starts to embrace the colourful and so very different environment into which she has jettisoned herself.

Her journey is like a rich travelogue with personal experiences at the heart of the narrative. From Bangkok she heads to Chiang Mai and then over to Railay Beach in the company of younger woman Summer. Each day brings new challenges and Lori is not one to shirk adventure. She soon has a diving certificate under her belt, and the reader can enjoy watching her blossom, often in the company of younger people, soaking up the atmosphere and wonderful things this part of the world has to offer. Yes, there is a bit of romance and yes there are more beautiful settings from Koh Lanta on to Koh Ngai, fictional Koh Phi Tao (where she becomes involved in turtle management) and so many more wonderful islands…. Islands to dream about, Could you see yourself setting off on a whim and just seeing which way the wind blows? No? Then the next best thing is to vicariously enjoy a new lease of life through fiction! Enjoy.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021