'Weeds in the Garden of Eden' Barbara Unkovic

'Weeds in the Garden of Eden' Barbara Unkovic
226 pages, including photographs and recipes.
Drawings by Colin Unkovic.

It was with some trepidation that I approached Ms Unkovic's book to read. My experience of this type of book, setting up home in a country not of the author's birth, is that they are a pointless experience for the reader. Virtually every member of a Writer's Group, made of up retired expats, who because they can write a shopping list, think they can write a book. They believe that the rest of the world wants to know about their move to France.
But I'm a fair reader. An author might have something to tell me. For that reason I give any book I read fifty pages before I give up.
Ms Unkovic is writing a memoir about moving from New Zealand and living in Croatia. She begins as I would expect, visiting Croatia for a holiday with her husband Denis. She describes very vividly her time there, the sights and attractions. Ms Unkovic and her husband are obviously lovers of good food. She describes some of the meals so sensuously I could taste them. Throughout the book there are as an extra, recipes which are a great bonus.
What I particularly liked in this section was the explanation of the war between Croatia and Serbia. Ms Unkovic is not ashamed of letting her prejudices show, but she is a Croat.
After returning to New Zealand, she and her husband, decide that they would like to live in Croatia. To buy and move there. After a number of encounters, or adventures depending on your view point, they finally buy a house. The house is in need of dramatic renovation, which they complete. They become part of the community and settle in almost as locals. They produce their own wine and even olive oil. They encounter a number of problems with bureaucracy, import of coffee beans and identity papers for Denis.
Actually it is this that I like about the book. Similar books that I have come across end with the expats setting up home and living happily ever after in the country of their choice.
For Ms Unkovic, the dream becomes shattered. They encounter the weeds in the garden of eden and they are left with no choice but to sell up and return to the country of their birth.

A story for all expats.

see: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1849635471/sr=1-1/qid=1300864088/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1300864088&seller=&sr=1-1