Only in India by Jill Dobbe

61zNvNt+BcLThis is the third in the author’s memoir series. Within each Jill Dobbe shares experiences encountered by her and her family while on teaching engagements in foreign lands (Jill and her husband are teachers). As the title implies, this latest memoir recounts incidents from their stay in India.

Note: Though it may help to understand the family background and motivation for moving round the world on various teaching engagements, it is not necessary to have read the previous books. Each stands upon its own merits and it does not spoil a readers enjoyment to read each in isolation.

A well written, engaging memoir that carries the reader into the events and sights without effort. They certainly feel as if they are there, in the story, with the author and her family experiencing the difficulties and joys alongside them. The mix of everyday life and holiday encounters also provides for realistic settings and participants and characters are well rounded conveying personalities and idiosyncrasies in a manner that helps the reader visualise them. Scenery, aromas, colours, etc. along with the background of social, religious, political and cultural observances and attitudes are also well presented making this a truly informative memoir. The synopsis suggests it could be used as part travelogue and, in measure, probably could be. Indeed the reader learns a lot about India and its varied peoples and nationalities.Indian

Thankfully, Jill and her husband are both blessed with a sense of humour which is just as well. Without it they may not have survived all the difficulties and unaccustomed attitudes encountered. Among the incidents rencountered with wit, in this third memoir, are: being overrun by ants; the author’s husband having to manoeuvre round monkeys blocking his running path; and trekking to purchase a Tibetan doll (having naively perhaps, thought the destination was just round the corner). Unfortunately, there are also the more horrendous observations of abuse and manipulation such as, parents intentionally maiming their children to get more from the begging they are forced to do.

It would spoil it for potential readers to say much more. Anyone who has the least interest in India or just in memoirs, is recommended to read this book.

Four Stars (4*).

The book is available in paperback and digital (e-book) format.

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