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Book of the Week: Wish You Were Here by Sheridan Jobbins

September 26, 2017

 

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Why we love it: Escapism is best enjoyed vicariously through the adventures of others. We’ve had Kerouac hit the dusty, jazz-soaked roads of 50s America; Jules Verne hurry around the world in you-know-how-many days. Sheridan Jobbins delivers a modern tale of adventure and discovery in her memoir Wish You Were Here. Sassy, irreverent, and warm-hearted, this real-life road trip tale will crack you up – and have you longing to hit your own private Route 66 in a sexy 1989 Chevy Camero.

Jobbins wheels along hilariously: from self-mocking post-divorce despair into a gut-bustingly funny new romance. Put simply, Wish You Were Here is an absolute hoot.

Sheridan’s husband – her best friend for more than a decade – just blew up their lives, for no clear reason. After ‘Pig’ (originally, an affectionate nickname; now more like The Pig Dog Bastard) moves out, Sheridan smashes every piece of crockery in the house. It helps. But it’s not until she decides to make a much more radical break – borrowing several thousand dollars, and heading to the US for a crazy road trip – that things really start to take a turn for the better.

Soon Sheridan is riding high, and quite a few lows, in a sweet ride she calls Betty (“one fast lady”). And the adventure has only just begun. Soon Sheridan will be cruising through middle America and far beyond, meeting strange characters and barreling back into the dating scene. Soon she will find a whole lot more than she bargained for. Finding out that life hack she’d been looking for: sometimes you have to just let go and “Fly little birdie, fly”.

Jobbins – a filmmaker and journalist – is never lost for a witty, Aussie jibe or the ideal pop culture reference. Finding humour in even the bleakest of personal lows and making light of the romantic highs, she never takes herself seriously. From the cheeky dedication (“For my husband, like, der”) to her description of arguing with her new lover about tents (“…you’d have to be a stubborn boof not to see he was right. I can be nothing if not ungracious in defeat”).

This is an irrefutably cracking read. One to take on your own grand adventure. Wherever that may take you.

About the author

Born in Melbourne, Sheridan Jobbins is a third generation Australian film maker. She kickstarted her career at nine as one of the original celebrity chefs on Cooking with Sheri, earning a Guinness World Record as the youngest host of her own show. She went on to present numerous TV programs, including Simon Townsend’s Wonder World! and Good Morning Australia. She has published numerous short stories and articles, and mentors other screenwriters on her website www.scriptwhisperer.com. Wish You were Here is her first book. Her body’s in Switzerland, her heat’s in Australia – fortunately they get together quite regularly.

Grab a copy, start reading now, or read Sheridan’s article in The Age 


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