I consider myself a wannabe expat. I'm looking for a warm, peaceful place to which to retire; where my modest retirement dollars will go further than here in the USA. My preliminary internet research brought the Dominican Republic to my attention, but I was aware that both the home-for-sale and tourist oriented websites played up the bright side of making such a move and downplayed the dark side. I felt as though I was trying to put a puzzle together with some of the pieces missing. Quisqueya filled in a lot of those missing pieces for me.
In short, Quisqueya is the author's tale of the perils and pitfalls that she and her mate and their dog experienced in the thirteen or so years following their move from England to the Dominican Republic. The tale is, in the author's words, a "warts and all" story of adjusting to life in the DR.
Viewed as an expat DR relocation guide, Quisqueya highlights a myriad of unexpected challenges encountered when making a move from an industrialized country to a "developing" country. The book is a "nuts and bolts" report of how the author and her mate met, overcame and/or adapted to those challenges.
Viewed as an exercise in cultural anthropology, Quisqueya provides intimate glimpses into the political history, the corruption, the charm, and the psycho-socio-cultural make-up, of the native inhabitants of the Dominican Republic.
Viewed as a autobiographical narrative, Quisqueya is an episodic adventure tale filled with all the drama we associate with trials and tribulations, heroes and villains, and emotional ups and downs -- culminating, of course, in a happy ending.
The author has a background in factual and news reporting and she tells her story in a straightforward manner -- without editorial comment -- allowing the reader to form their own opinions and to experience their own feelings about what is taking place.
If the author has an agenda (other than her obvious love of writing) it seems to be to tell her story of the perils and pitfalls of a relocation to the DR -- in order to prepare those who are seriously considering such a move, or to "wave off" those who haven't a clue about what they would be getting themselves into.
What I find both paradoxical and amazing is that, it appears to me, the stories that the author told related more of the dark side of life in the DR than of the bright side. Yet, somehow or other, she managed to leave me very much wanting to come to the DR for a visit -- as a perfunctory prelude to moving there. Go figure.