Reviewed by Alysia George

Leaving one’s home country and starting over again thousands of miles away is daunting, and at the same time exciting. Especially if the move is done all alone, with no friends or family for support and company, in a country with totally different customs and an unfamiliar language. And yet, journalist Miranda Kennedy did just that when she decided to embark on the adventure of a lifetime and relocate to India. Although independent and worldly to begin with, Kennedy learned more about herself and the Indian culture than she probably thought possible when she first set off. Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India, is Kennedy’s memoir chronicling her time in India.

Culture shock set in for Kennedy when she fully realized how different her lifestyle would be in India, yet she stood her ground and carved out a place for herself in Delhi. During the years she spent there, Kennedy gained valuable friendships and slowly figured out the differences, both subtle and obvious, between American and Indian cultures and relationships.

Kennedy dappled in romances of her own while listening to her new friends tell stories of their vastly different romantic escapades, almost unrecognizable as romances by American standards. Kennedy found a niche in India, learning in many regards to live as the Indian people do, but never felt comfortable and courageous enough to fully be herself.

I loved reading about an American’s experiences living in India, a country that has made huge advances over the past few decades, yet is still a world apart from Western cultures. Kennedy’s narrative flowed easily and was interesting and fun to read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Alysia lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and four children. She writes about family life, parenting issues, and other things of interest to her on her blog, Michigal.

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