Running Away to Home, Review and Giveaway

by Jennifer Donovan

I love to travel. I love to travel with my husband which gives us the opportunity to reconnect with one another while discovering new people, new foods, and new sites. I also enjoy traveling with my kids, watching them try new things and experience things that help reinforce what home is for them. I dream about an extended getaway where we could totally immerse ourselves into a different world.

Running Away to Home: Our Family’s Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters is Jennifer Wilson’s memoir of the year that she spent with her husband, 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter in her ancestral home of Mrkopalj, Croatia.

Jennifer’s quiet humor makes it an easy and entertaining read, even as she recounts the darker times — her discouragement about fitting in (which you can read more about today in our 5 Minutes for Books On Reading column), her frustration with the difficult Croatian language, the lack of ready information about her ancestors.

It’s an eye-opening read, one that strikes a chord in me — a desire to get away from it all and do something completely new, to reconnect with my past and figure out my future. I envy her freedom and guts, and since I know it’s unlikely I’ll ever do it, I enjoyed being able to follow along.

How about you? Do you long to find out more about your ancestors? To take a break from the “American Dream” that has us all running in circles? To hunker down with your family to see what you’re all made of?

We have THREE copies of Running Away to Home to give away (U.S. and Canada shipping addresses only). Leave a comment if you’d like to win. You can also leave a comment on the excerpt posted at 5 Minutes for Books today for an extra chance to win. We’ll announce the winners right here on November 7.

The winner of If I Have to Tell You One More Time is #20 Vilmarys.

Original post by 5 Minutes for Books managing editor Jennifer Donovan

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica October 24, 2011 at 12:08 am

This sounds really interesting to me! My ancestral home is Hungary…I’d love to do something similar.


2 Christina Gould October 24, 2011 at 12:24 am

I’d love to read this. Thanks for the giveaway!


3 Tlr October 24, 2011 at 1:33 am

Somedays I would love to run away to re-connect.


4 Liz October 24, 2011 at 1:48 am

Our travel time has been spent in my husband’s natal land, Greece, where he has much family still.


5 MaryBeth October 24, 2011 at 8:18 am

On a much smaller scale our family is “running away” from home together mid- 2012. I am petrified and thrilled at the same time! I’d love to read about their adventures.


6 ibeeeg October 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

I visited my brother in Israel back in 2008, and I realized then that we (my family and those around me) were too materialistic…always wanting bigger and better. Not good. I came home from that trip yearning for a simpler life – using what we have and being satisfied. I would love to do what Jennifer did, but that really does take guts to leave everything you know mostly financial security.


7 tennille October 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm

looks interesting-thanks


8 joy October 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm

this book sounds like a really good read – thanks for the giveaway :)


9 Tammy Gordon October 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Would love to win this!


10 Beth C October 24, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Thanks for the chance to win this!


11 Beth C October 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Please enter me. Love to read this.


12 Linda Kish October 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


13 Kalie Lyn October 25, 2011 at 8:25 am

Sounds like a great book! I love non-fiction and memoirs – usually that’s all I read! – so I’m excited for this giveaway! If I don’t receive a copy, I will definitely go out an buy it because your review made it sound worth reading! :)


14 Tami M October 25, 2011 at 11:40 am

Wish I could expose my young kids to a different culture and experience like this … would love a copy to read! Thanks.


15 Idaho Jill October 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

We have actually been thinking of, and researching, moving out of the country. Not as a soul searching event, but as an adventure and complete lifestyle change. I would love to read this!


16 Some Lucky Dog October 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm

We were able to visit the ancestral home of my grandparents, a very small village in rural Russia near the Volga River. It was an amazing experience. It would be quite an adventure to live there for awhile!
someluckydog at gmail dot com


17 Linda Kish October 25, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I’d like to know more about my ancestors but my fathers family is mostly gone now and my mother’s family is back east and quite elderly.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


18 hollowsins October 26, 2011 at 5:47 am

I am always looking for a new book to rwad and this sounds interesting.Thanks for the post!


19 Kayo October 26, 2011 at 7:28 am

Sounds like a winner to me..I’d love to read this.

Keodell AT Centurytel DOT com


20 Jen B. October 26, 2011 at 7:52 am

sounds scary to me but an interesting read!


21 melissa n October 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm

this sounds lke a wonderful read! thanks for the chance !


22 Barb October 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I’m *loving* that excerpt.


23 Shari October 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I love memoirs — they are one of my favorite kinds of books to read. Would love to win this one. :)


24 JUNE October 27, 2011 at 7:52 am

I think just about anyone would jump to the chance to travel somewhere else given the chance to do so. This book makes it sound so easy for Jennifer, but may not be suitable for all of us to venture far from what we know.


25 Staci A October 27, 2011 at 10:40 am

I would love to read this! It sounds like a great book.


26 Ellen C. October 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I’d like to win. Thanks for the chance.


27 Teresa Lukey October 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

This one sounds right up my alley. I have been scouring the blog sites for a giveaway of it. Thanks.


28 Jayne October 31, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I’d love to win a copy of this book!


29 Mama Zen November 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I would love to read this!


30 Lisa Maez December 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm

i really do like this site :) keep up!


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