Backpacks and Bra Straps is the second in a series of personal travel memoirs from Savannah Grace of the Watkins family. It follows on from the global success of the first book, “Sihpromatum: I grew my boobs in China”.
The first book has received more than 190 5 star reviews on the US version of Amazon alone. I’ve little doubt that Backpacks and Bra Straps will receive the same acclaim when it is released today, 30th September 2014.
I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Backpacks and Bra Straps so I can give you some detailed insight.
The book focuses on the story of a mother and 3 of her children beginning what is meant to be a year of travelling around Africa, Asia, Australia and other parts of the world after setting off from their home in Canada.
The family consists of mother Maggie, who has recently separated from her husband. Eldest son, 25 year old Ammon, 18 year old daughter Bree and youngest daughter Savannah, aged 15.
This second book begins with the family arriving in Russia. Ammon has previous experience of travel here and his scepticism as well as love of the place comes to the fore in their adventure.
Their adventures continue through some of the former Soviet states. Not only is there some unique experiences of the customs here, but also a wonderful story of how a range of characters in an overcrowded train carriage change over time, from being angry and threatening to becoming joyous friends. This is in spite of the fellow travellers not speaking a word of English.
But hey, don’t let that get in the way of a good story, there’s even a marriage proposal!
The adventures continue on to Tibet, China and Nepal. The memoirs finish this second instalment with an ascent to the Everest Base Camp and a life saving rescue.
So what makes Backpacks and Bra Straps worth your time reading?
Well first off, Savannah is a highly skilled writer. She relays emotions and events as well as people’s moods in a colourful and informative way.
The places this family visit are truly off the beaten track. This is highlighted by the stories of relatively undiscovered cities in the former Soviet block.
The travel stories are unlike any I’m likely to ever encounter. Their experiences include far from luxurious travel with budgets of around $10 a day per person for food, lodging and transport.
Backpacks and Bra Straps provides some scary moments of real danger, bribery, corruption, drug smuggling and people trafficking. Yes, they’ve seen it all.
You also get to feel the pressure cooker environment of being a family without personal space. Tensions come to ahead, people are left behind, fights break out.
I also particularly liked the way Savannah focused on this with her chapter on Privacy. Further the way she ended this chapter could raise an eyebrow or two.
If you’ve read “Sihpromatum: I grew my boobs in China” then I’d strongly recommend that you get hold of a copy of the second instalment in this very unique travel adventure.
If not then read Sihpromatum first.
Backpacks and Bra Straps is now available from 30th September 2014 in both e-book and paper book formats. You can get your copy from Amazon or Goodreads.
To buy your copy now from Amazon please use one of the links below to go directly to the book:-
Readers from the US:-
For the first book of Sihpromatum:-
Readers from the UK:-
(Don’t forget you don’t have to buy a kindle to read the e-book addition, you can download a free kindle app from Amazon for your computer, tablet or mobile phone.)
If you are interested you can read my review of the first book here.