História, História by Eleanor Stanford

História, História: 

Two Years in the Cape Verde Islands by Eleanor Stanford

Publisher: CCLap Publishing
Publication Date: March 2013
Categories: Memoir, Travel
Description:

Twenty-two and newly married, Eleanor Stanford and her husband join the Peace Corps and find themselves on the West African islands of Cape Verde. In this beautifully alien place, as she teaches her students and struggles to come to terms with the island’s fascinating yet frustrating culture, Eleanor watches everything she knows about relationships get flipped upside-down and attempts to hide the eating disorder she’s developed, which threatens both her marriage and her life. Part travelogue, part cultural documentary, Historia, Historia combines journalistic excellence with the gripping style of personal memoirs to bring you this lyrical, moving portrait of an enchanting, little-glimpsed geography. Fans of factually informative and emotionally moving nonfiction will be drawn towards this haunting meditation on love, fidelity and self-image.

My Thoughts:
História, História is a small book that leaves a big impression. 
Stanford’s writing is graceful and rhythmic. The sentences reeled me in to her time on Cape Verde. Her descriptions of the place, the food, and the people made me want to explore it for myself. 
Eleanor and her husband are doing good work through the Peace Corp. Sadly, giving time to such a worthwhile cause doesn’t make your own problems go away. Eleanor is dealing with a crumbling marriage and a burgeoning eating disorder. 
I felt a sense of guilt in the author. She’s in a land where solid marriages seem to be few and far between, education is lacking and food isn’t always plentiful. Those facts don’t lessen Stanford’s issues but they do put things into perspective.

Melancholy and luscious, História, História is a worthwhile read. 

28 thoughts on “História, História by Eleanor Stanford

  1. Hmm. This one sounds pretty interesting. I love how people think that by moving away, you are leaving your problems behind – so not true! Definitely a title I will be jotting down 😉

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  2. It's rare to find a book that balances memoir and another topic. I have to say that I don't know too much about that part of the world, either. Must. Read. More. Non-fiction.

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  3. Did I not reply to this???? I thought I did. . . confusing . . . maybe I replied to something that said you were reading it currently? Oy. . . I'm losing my mind! Anyway, I really liked this book! It was short, but I thought it was comprehensive enough to tell us the story. I like that it's short because it'll open people's eyes to something new, and isn't a huge commitment for those who might not normally pick this up.

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  4. Such a coincidence about Historia, Historia – thansk for leaving a note in my blog. I am only a third into it, but have the same feeling: a small book that leaves a big impression, and an author who doesn't skip the difficult and personal aspects while at the same time giving vivid descriptions of the islands of Cape Verde and the people who live there.

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