Are you an expat living in Australia? Are you interested in topics and issues about living abroad? Things like finding fulfillment and identity, or even how to develop a career in your suitcase? Then have a squizz at author Jo Parfitt’s guest post about her fabulous new novel below, and find out about some of the interesting ideas and messages it contains –  if you like the sound of it, why not buy it from Amazon – there’s a direct link in the sidebar on the right.

Writing Sunshine Soup

They say that your first novel is partly autobiographical and I guess that mine is no exception. It is based in Dubai. I lived in Dubai in my twenties.

Travelling to Dubai? You might like to read : 50 Things to do in Dubai

It features a woman who loves to cook. I have written two cookbooks. And it has an underlying theme about finding fulfillment and identity while living in a foreign country, which has been a big part of my own expat journey.

However, there it ends. Of course, I have written about things that I know and I know a lot about portable careers, as I have managed to work myself despite five international moves and written several books on the subject, including A Career In Your Suitase. But most importantly, it is what I have learned about the expatriate experience, about culture shock, unresolved grief, third culture kids and so on, that turns what I hope is simply a ‘jolly good read’ into a novel with a message.

As a writer who specializes in writing about life abroad I have attended many conferences, including Families in Global Transition, and so on, and this is where I have learned about many additional issues that I have not experienced personally, and it is also where I have met many of the world’s intercultural experts. All this has been added to the mix.

The two main characters, of American Barb and British Maya,  are at opposite ends of the expatriate experience spectrum. Barb is on her umpteenth move and Maya her first. The novel tells of their transformations. Watch Maya grow as Barb’s world crumbles and ask yourself why.

If you have lived abroad yourself you will recognize the American Women’s Club type network, the camaraderie and the international flavour of the expat bubble. Whether the story took place in Dubai or anywhere, the themes are the same and you will find yourself there on the page.

However, whether you are a Barb, a Maya or a never-been-abroad reader, there are plenty of topics to entertain you. With extra questions for reading groups at the end of the novel, any expatriate book club will enjoy exploring the themes within the story and discussing how they relate to their own lives.

Jo Parfitt  Jo Parfitt  – author of Sunshine Soup, nourishing the global soul. Out now at Amazon – see the link on this page.

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  1. Jo and I were both living in Dubai at the same time – we both heard about each other and wrote for the same magazines, but never met.

    Eventually we met outside a hotel meeting room in Peterborough – talk about coincidence. Since then we’ve become friends and work colleagues, I have nothing but good things to say about Jo’s skills in everything to do with writing and publishing books.

    However, writing a novel is something every writer aspires to (and most publishers want to publish). As a first novel this is a cracker and reflects life in Dubai in glorious sunshiney colour. It’s a stunning first novel – definitely worth putting aside a day curled up on the sofa for!

  2. Johanna

    Thank you Lesley. I think this book will resonate with people who are living, or who have lived, in countries as ex-pats or global nomads.

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