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By Ann Vanderhoof

Under the Tuscan Sun meets the wide-open sea . . . An Embarrassment of Mangoes is a scrumptious chronicle of leaving the type-A way of life at the back of -- and learning the seductive secrets and techniques of existence within the Caribbean.

Who hasn’t fantasized approximately chucking the task, asserting so long to the rat race, and escaping to a couple unique vacation spot looking for solar, sand, and a special lifestyle? Canadians Ann Vanderhoof and her husband, Steve did simply that.

In the mid Nineteen Nineties, they have been pushed, forty-something pros who have been determined for a holiday from their deadline-dominated, career-defined lives. so that they give up their jobs, rented out their residence, moved onto a 42-foot sailboat referred to as Receta (“recipe,” in Spanish), and set sail for the Caribbean on a two-year voyage of culinary and cultural discovery.

In lavish element that might have you ever packing your go well with and speeding for the airport, Vanderhoof describes the sun-drenched landscapes, enthralling characters and mouthwatering tastes that season their new way of life. Come alongside for the journey and be seduced via Caribbean rhythms as she and Steve sip rum with their island associates, hike lush rain forests, pull their supper out of the ocean, and adapt to existence on “island time.”

Exchanging company outfits for naked ft, they drop anchor in sixteen international locations -- forty seven person islands -- the place they discover secluded shorelines and store vigorous neighborhood markets. alongside the way in which, Ann documents the delectable dishes they come across -- from cracked conch within the Bahamas to curried lobster in Grenada, from Dominican papaya salsa to vintage West Indian rum punch -- and contains those engaging recipes into the textual content in order that readers can perform the adventure.

Almost nearly as good as making the adventure itself, An Embarrassment of Mangoes is an intimate account that conjures all of the impossible to resist good looks and bounty from the Bahamas to Trinidad -- and simply could compel you to make a rash selection that would land you in paradise.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Maybe it’s a good thing. Friends had recounted the difficulty of steaming crabs in the small galley of a cruising boat; one of theirs had escaped on its way to the pot and disappeared behind the stove. “When we finally rooted him out, he had a death grip on our propane line,” Wayne had told us. A woman stands on her front porch, hands on hips, watching the egret that has abandoned the marshes to fish the main street. ” She points down the street. “Ruke’s Store, ’cept it’s closed. ” That doesn’t sound promising.

This is what my daily life has become. Ann of a Thousand Deadlines has slowly, surely, been left behind. The Five-Year Plan Your courage is like a kite. Big wind raises it higher. FORTUNE COOKIE, TORONTO, CANADA; NOVEMBER 1996 Relinquishing fears now allows you to succeed. FORTUNE COOKIE, PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD; NOVEMBER 1998 Perhaps the hardest thing, we realized in hindsight, was making the decision to go. It had started as idle, dreamy chat in the bleak days of January and February, the time of year I detest in Toronto, when all the color is sucked out of the city, and even the snow looks gray and tired.

About 20 feet apart, they mark a deep-water route that threads between patches of coral reef lying just below the surface. We had timed the turn during daylight, when the sea was serene and the sun high overhead, when we could clearly see the sapphire ribbon of safe water between the dappled yellow-green reefs. “Slow it down, slow it down, I don’t see the floats yet,” I call back to Steve, panning my light nervously in wide arcs. We have to spot the floats before proceeding. If we don’t follow a line straight between them, we will almost certainly grind to a halt on the reef, damaging both it and our prop, and impaling the dinghy on the coral spikes—a far-from-appealing idea in a small rubber boat, in the darkness, on the ocean.

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