I love a good book. In fact, I love all kinds of books, really. But there is one type in particular that I have a weakness for: books about people who settle in a strange country. There is something magical about reading a story where the protagonist challenges themselves and sets forth to discover a foreign country. Through them, you end up discovering that new country too. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I was asked to review The Cinnamon Snail by Rosemary Whittaker and discovered that it is about a woman who moves to Copenhagen.
The story is about Kate Merrit, a young woman who lives in London and falls in love with a charming Danish man called Christian. Christian is working temporarily in the London branch of his Danish office. When he leaves for Copenhagen, he breaks things off with Kate. However, love is a curious thing and, with little else than hope in her suitcase, Kate moves to Copenhagen to show Christian that they are meant to be together, wherever that might be.
Reading about Kate’s adventures in Copenhagen was fun, mainly because it brought back so many memories of my first year here. It highlighted so many issues that come with moving, not just to any foreign country, but specifically to Denmark. Issues such as the difficult language – although the protagonist seemed to learn it quickly – the high cost of everything and the dark winter nights. Even though most of the book takes place during winter and the protagonist talks endlessly of the freezing cold and darkness, the author paints a vivid picture of Copenhagen with its welcoming people and charming attributes.
The book also touches on some of the emotional issues that come with emigrating and feeling at home in more than one place: missing your friends and family, adapting to a new society and questioning what ‘home’ really means – issues that expats know all too well.
The Cinnamon Snail is an easy and fun read. With its light-hearted feel and romantic twists, it will keep you flipping the pages without being bored. With it being set in winter and the protagonist drinking gløgg, eating æbleskiver and gift shopping on Strøget, it is sure to get you in a festive mood, just in time for Christmas. For fans of romances living in Copenhagen – or your stubborn friend back home who needs convincing to come for a visit – The Cinnamon Snail is a great Christmas gift.
The Cinnamon Snail is the first in a series of four books by the same author, all with the same expat theme and all set in different countries. They are available from Books and Company in Hellerup and in both kindle and paperback on Amazon at amzn.to/1aRb6ZZ.