BOOK REVIEW: Rash: A Memoir by Lisa Kusel

Title: Rash: A Memoir
Author: Lisa Kusel
Publication: August 15, 2017
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Genre: Non Fiction, Travel
Pages: 261



SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Writer Lisa Kusel, while living comfortably in her California home, feels an unsettling lack of personal contentment. When she sees a job posting for a new international school in Bali, she convinces her schoolteacher husband Victor to apply.

Six weeks after his interview, Lisa, Victor, and their six-year-old daughter, Loy, move halfway around the world to paradise. But instead of luxuriating in ocean breezes, renewed passion, and first-rate schooling, what Lisa and her family find are burning corpses, biting ants, and a millionaire founder who cares more about selling bamboo furniture than educating young minds. Not to mention Lisa’s fear that one morning she might see the Dengue Fever rash on her young daughter.

RASH is an unfiltered, sharply-written memoir about a woman who goes looking for happiness on the Island of the Gods, and nearly destroys her marriage in the process. For anyone who has ever dreamed of starting over in an exotic locale, this is a poignant reminder that no matter where you go, there you are.


**A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**

When my editor was approached by the author asking if we would be interested in reading her book, she immediately knew the answer. A non-fiction travelogue is right up my alley. What further drew me in was the author describing it as an “Eat, Pray, Love”-esque book. While I still haven’t finished reading “Eat, Pray, Love” what I have read, I loved. I have also watched and enjoyed the movie during one of my children’s all night feeding marathons. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to read it!

The book begins with the author, Lisa, and her husband, Victor, living safe and comfortable lives on the West Coast. She as a writer and Victor as a teacher. He loved his job and was passionate about teaching. One night while reading a book Victor decides he wants to branch out and do something more exciting. He wants to teach abroad. Have an adventure. This leads to Lisa searching for teaching jobs. She finds one in Bali. She begins to imagine her life in Bali. Sun, sand, a little Eat, Pray, Love. Victor applies and gets an interview. The only catch is the school will only pay the airfare for the trip. Lisa and their daughter Loy, decide to stay home. Victor eventually calls and says that he really like the school and the vision that the school has. He comes home and they decide that he will take the job. They are off to Bali. Once there it is not at all what they envisioned. The houses are “green” and made out of a bamboo that has to be scrapped of mold every two days. Their marriage starts to feel the strain. The constant fighting and complaining begin to wear on Lisa and Victor. Things are said, feelings hurt. Will Lisa and Victor save their marriage and survive the school year in Bali?

I want to say that I LOVED this book and couldn’t put it down. While I did like it and really enjoyed reading it, I kind of felt like Victor. The whining and complaining got really really annoying. Once Lisa figured herself out and got her attitude adjusted I really liked the book a lot more. I could see it from both perspectives. Victor dealing with the constant complaining and whining about the things that they don’t have or that doesn’t work. Though I can also understand the difficulty faced by Lisa. Having your whole world changed is hard. They thought they would have an above par place to live, they would be able to see the country, there would be no stress, instead, they got the opposite. I really enjoyed the descriptions of Bali. I could smell the sea, see the lush greenery, and hear the monkeys shrieking in the trees. All in all, I did enjoy the book. It was well written and flowed from chapter to chapter. I will certainly be picking up more books by this author in the future.


You can get your copy of Rash: A Memoir by Lisa Kusel on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author. You can also follow Kusel on Twitter here.

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