Reviewed by Krista Castner

I am an avid fan of the fascinating “House Hunter’s International” TV series and a perennial dreamer about living abroad, so Karen McCann’s new book, Dancing In The Fountain couldn’t have arrived quickly enough for me. The book is part memoir and part travelogue. I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the trials and thrills that this American couple experienced after they decided to move to Seville, Spain.

Karen and her husband Rich were seasoned international travelers when they took their friends up on an offer to come visit them in Spain. Rich had recently taken early retirement from his job in the Cleveland area, and they were looking for their next adventure when the invitation arrived. One visit turned into two visits which soon morphed into going over to study Spanish at various language immersion schools in Seville. Eventually they decided to take the next step. They sold their house in a Cleveland, Ohio suburb and moved to Seville.

The book is nicely organized. The chapters cover some of the move logistics I’ve always been curious about when contemplating a move abroad. They range from house hunting in Seville, making the big move, settling in the new environs, making new friends, and learning the language to health care issues, and cultural differences. The stories are told with humor and pathos. I learned so much about Seville including its history, geography, food, and festivals.

McCann isn’t shy about sharing her adventures, and misadventures. I think she tells a very balanced account of what it was like for her and her husband to take themselves completely out of their comfort zone. While the stories she tells center around her experiences in Seville, I think that they can be applied to a move to any new city.

The McCanns now live in Seville for about eight months of the year, but they return to the US during the summer months. They split their time between the two countries in part to avoid the stifling summer heat in Spain, but also to coordinate health care coverage in the US and to stay connected with their American friends and family.

Dancing In The Fountain made me want to put on my dancing shoes and waltz on over to Seville. But now I know not to waltz in the summer. I’d recommend this book to the armchair traveler as well as someone who’s seriously contemplating a move abroad. I think that both audiences would find selections from the book to love.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Krista lives just outside the urban sprawl of Portland, Oregon. Lamentably, her work as a technical writer and business analyst often interferes with her reading which is a true passion.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Karen McCann. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.