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

Harper Perennial  2010

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.

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