Every­thing is Going to be Great: An Under­fund­ed and Over­ex­posed Euro­pean Grand Tour

  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
Glim­mer­ing with wit, Rachel Shukert’s mem­oir, Every­thing Is Going to Be Great: An Under­fund­ed and Over­ex­posed Euro­pean Grand Tour, is a chron­i­cle of the great post­mod­ern under­tak­ing: the jour­ney to find your­self. Shukert’s writ­ing shim­mers with self-dep­re­cat­ing humor and an eye for details both ridicu­lous and sub­lime. She sets off across Europe armed only with her fresh­ly-mint­ed bachelor’s degree, an unstamped pass­port, and her own ambi­tion. Imag­ine your wilder and infi­nite­ly cool­er and fun­ny old­er sis­ter let­ting you read her diary about her great adven­ture, and you get a sense of the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty, humor, and strange­ly sound advice the writer offers. Shuk­ert grew up Jew­ish in Nebras­ka, and her fish-out-of-water child­hood expe­ri­ence fol­lows her as she takes on semi-humil­i­at­ing jobs across Europe and ill-advised love affairs (includ­ing one in Vien­na with a man old enough to be her father, who may or may not be a descen­dant of Nazis) but you can’t help but admire her spunk and resolve as she picks her­self up, dusts her­self off and goes in search of her heart. Unex­pect­ed­ly inspir­ing, you can’t resist cheer­ing Shuk­ert on.

Read Rachel Shukert’s Posts for the Vis­it­ing Scribe

Joan Holloway’s Tushy is Jew­ish

Rachel Shuk­ert, Zion­ist Secret Agent 

10 Tips to Cope with the Great Man­hat­tan Shrink Exo­dus of 2010

Ruth Andrew Ellen­son is a writer and jour­nal­ist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Ange­les Times, Peo­ple, For­ward, Ha’aretz, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. She received the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award for The Mod­ern Jew­ish Girl’s Guide to Guilt, a nation­al best­seller. Ellenson’s recent edi­to­r­i­al col­lab­o­ra­tions include Why Be Jew­ish? by the late phil­an­thropist Edgar M. Bronf­man. She is cur­rent­ly direct­ing edi­to­r­i­al projects at the Jew­ish Muse­um in New York City. She received her MFA from Colum­bia University.

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