A Broad Abroad in Iran
“It’s the best manuscript that has come across my desk in months.” —Mike Foley, Writer’s Review, Editor and Creative Writing Instructor,CSU Riverside Campus www.WritersReview.com
“What a terrific book! This personal account of one family’s experiences during the last days of the Shah’s reign is a fascinating tale - a glimpse into not just the family’s education about a very different culture, but also of an important time in recent history from the family’s front-row seat. With just the right amount of humor amid the building tensions of those last days, the tale that unfolds is riveting, right down to the drama-filled conclusion.” —Margie McArthur, author of Wisdom of the Elements, Faery Healing –The Lore and the Legacy. www.faeryhealing.com
“While reading Dodie Cross’ memoir, A Broad Abroad in Iran, I felt the author’s anxiety in trying to leave the country. She, along with the other passengers, sat in an overcrowded jetliner with no air conditioning, her terror building with each moment’s delay to become airborne, terrified the Islamic police would board and demand they return for interrogation. One powerful sentence beautifully expressed the mood aboard the plane: ‘We are all breathing each other’s fear.’ With an opening page that dramatic, the rest of the story is a page-turner.” Brenda Hill, Editor and Author of: With Full Mallice, Ten Times Guilty, and Beyond the Quilt.www.brendahill.com
“A year before the fall of the Shah of Iran and full-blown anarchy, a California housewife, her husband, and three children relocate to that country for a new job. A Broad Abroad in Iran is the latest in the “A Broad Abroad” series, and with it, Dodie Cross delivers a fast, funny, and often scary read. We don’t usually experience geopolitics from the standpoint of a loving family trying to make the best of a year in the midst of looming turmoil. Through it all I kept wondering how Dodie kept it together – and then I’d burst out laughing (cleaning vegetables in the washing machine?) Just a fascinating story! This is one book you’ll want to recommend to family and friends.” —Lynne Spreen, author of Dakota Blues www.anyshinything.com
“I’ve never been to Iran, and I’m not sure I want to go there. However, the last time a book kept me holding my sides because they hurt so much from laughter, was Dodie Cross’ A Broad Abroad in Thailand. This lady is just naturally funny, no matter how dire her circumstances, and at times they were very dire. If you have never visited Iran and would like a treat (and a treatment) this is the every-season book for every man, woman and others of the species. As an expat in this dusty, wind-blown land, Dodie finds sand in her hair, between her teeth, and other various crevices—and hilarity in most things she undertakes. Buy it!!!!!!!!” —Raymond Strait, Author, Biographer and Book Reviewer
It’s been quite a few years since I’ve read the first of Dodie Cross’ memoirs, an extremely funny book called A Broad Abroad in Thailand, and have been rather impatiently waiting on the next one, which Ms. Cross sort of promised back then. Five years is a long time to wait, but I am so glad that I have. Just like the first one, A Broad Abroad in Iran by Dodie Cross is effortlessly funny, which is truly an accomplishment considering the time period that it is set in.
The author’s family relocated to Iran in 1977, shortly before the Islamic revolution there forever changed the country, and in many ways the world we live in. So you can imagine that things were not exactly rosy, yet Ms. Cross managed to find a spark of humor in just about anything. It started with her misadventures in the months before the actual departure to Iran, when she was left alone in the U.S. with four children, trying to pack their entire life in boxes and rent or sell the house before joining her husband in Esfahan. If there is something that could possibly go wrong, you can bet that it will, and that period was no exception.
But her American troubles paled in comparison with the culture shock awaiting her in Iran, a male-dominated country even back then. Yet Ms. Cross dealt with it all in her usual can-do style. Reading about the day-to-day life in Iran made me realize, yet again, how lucky we are to be living where we are living. There certainly are no public stonings held here, and I hope there never will be. Luckily the descriptions of such horrors in Ms. Cross’ books are wonderfully balanced out by much more fun experiences, be it getting a really good Dorothy Hamill haircut or something that probably wasn’t much fun for her at the time, but certainly made me laugh out loud – her shopping experiences, particularly trying to shop for groceries.
I was completely enthralled by the stories, and I felt like I was actually sitting in a coffee shop somewhere, talking to a friend. Ms. Cross’ writing style is so nicely chatty that one tends to forget that she’s not an actual friend whom you’ve known your entire life. I marveled at her downright infectious enthusiasm and wonder, laughed at the charming way she described her many… let’s call them “adventures,” and I also felt her terror when things became really scary and the “Death to Amrikins” signs took the country over. I held my breath when their plane was sitting on the hot tarmac, and I actually shed a few tears when I read the very last chapter in this book. This was armchair travel at its best – it truly made me feel like I was there right along Ms. Cross and her family.
Oh, and one more thing, Mee-sez Dotie. I am still waiting for your New Orleans book. As quaint as my beloved Big Easy is, it would fit quite nicely in the “A Broad Abroad” series, don’t you think?
Do yourself a favor and get A Broad Abroad in Iran by Dodie Cross. You won’t regret it. —Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (10/12) www.readerviews.com
A Broad Abroad in Thailand
“…Dodie Cross’ memoir is an unbelievably wild anecdotal ride. Her wit, wisdom and writing style belong to the Erma Bombeck school of humor. This broad will have you laughing until you cry—all the while wishing you were in Thailand with her.” Armchair Interview says: “This author tells a good story—hers!”
– Claire Vath
excerpted from the full review at www.armchairinterviews.com
“If you’re in the market for a good laugh, I heartily recommend A Broad Abroad in Thailand by Dodie Cross … Cross writes of her life in Thailand with skill and wit. Even in her most traumatic moments, she manages to massage her funny bone. She has written a book to entertain in those moments when readers’ lives need a pick-me-up. Her escapades are not only comic at times, but she also bares her soul. We all have troublesome moments and she is
the proof that we can overcome them.”
– Mary Ann Smyth
excerpted from the full review at bookloons.com
“I really enjoyed how Ms. Cross intertwines insight and humorous wit to make these little events come to life. As I’ve also experienced the life of an expat, I can definitely relate to both the ups and downs of international living. While one can tend to stay on the negative points, I appreciated how Ms. Cross mentioned the highlights of her stay abroad, including her work with the orphanage and her connection to the culture and heritage of Thailand. This book provided a delightful escape into a scenic journey to a beautiful place that I think every reader will appreciate.”
– Vianna Renaud, excerpted from the full review at tcm-ca.com.
“A Broad Abroad in Thailand is an absolute must for travelers. Whether you’ve done a full expatriate stint in the third world or a weekend-gone-amok south of the border, A Broad Abroad evokes the hilarity and horrors of life without the amenities—to say the least. In telling her own comical, sometimes poignant tale, Dodie Cross’ style perfectly matches the farcical wit needed to stay sane—or at least survive. Let’s face it, anyone who can make reading about a squat toilet sheer delight, is a master.”
– Kathryn Jordan, author of Hot Water A Novel – Berkley / Penguin 2006
“Dodie Cross has combined a great sense of humor with an equally keen eye focussed on the unique experiences of living in another country. It’s a testament to her stamina that she managed to keep the former while dealing with the latter.”
– Gordon Kirkland, Author, Syndicated Columnist & Entertainer
“A Broad Abroad in Thailand is an entertaining and engaging read. Author Dodie Cross succeeds in mixing laugh-out-loud humor with real-life drama in her look at life in a place very different from what is normal to most westerners. Dodie offers insight into a world few of us will ever know. A good read for anyone; a must-read for those who have ever lived abroad.”
– Margie McArthur, author of Faery Healing: The Lore and the Legacy and Wisdom of the Elements
“To say she’s ‘good with words’ is putting it mildly!!! I’ve had similar experiences…but NEVER could I tell the tale with such raucous good humor! Write on!”
– Ardie Davis, Entertainment Editor, Volley News
“Dodie Cross, in her first novel, A Broad Abroad, writes of her sojourn into the exotic world of Thailand where truth is sometimes stranger than fiction and being a resident is different from being a tourist. A Broad Abroad is the brave, funny, outrageous, sometimes sad, but from the first to the last page, fascinating story of hope, anguish, anger and love for a land that is very different from home. It’s a can’t-put-it-down-until finished book.”
– Marci Stillerman, author of Nine Spoons and Swimming Lessons
“This memoir, though thick, is very difficult to put down. Dodie Cross has achieved a great accomplishment: her readers will feel an almost immediate connection to her. They will feel her anxiety, her stresses, her amusement and most certainly will groan along with her at the mere thought of Mrs. A. Mrs. Cross is to be applauded for this outstanding book.”
– Kristin Pace, excerpted from the full review at bookpleasures.com.
“This is to say the least an interesting and entertaining read that covers far more ground than the title implies. Told with a huge amount of humor we follow Dodie on her sojourn to Thailand, where things do not work out as planned. … A Broad Abroad In Thailand is a great read, it is written in a very humorous style … Dodie undaunted by minor and in some cases major setbacks ‘bags and crashes’ her way through life. This is a must read book for anyone contemplating living and working in a foreign land, from marital to medical, the problems are so much greater than being at home.”
– Simon Barrett, excerpted from the full review at bloggernews.net.
“Cross’s anecdotes are entertaining and well-organized. Endearing black and white sketches at the beginning of each chapter complement the book’s lighthearted tone and illustrate humorous points.
The author’s conversational yet informative style, developed during her career as a journalist, invites readers into her life. They will blush, laugh, grumble, and cheer along with her. At the story’s end, just as Cross believes she has developed the mai pen rai way of life, readers may feel influenced as well.”
– Whitney Hallberg, Clarion Book Review