My Love Affair with England

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Susan Allen Toth made her first visit to England as a twenty-year-old Midwestern college student. This collection of essays, written over the years in her trademark style, capture those first and subsequent impressions of the country that she has come to love. This is not a travelogue, but rather a journal — blending Toth’s love of England with its significant role in her own personal growth.

Toth’s clarity in writing lends itself beautifully to the topics covered. There is something here for everyone. Working outside the framework of chronological order, the author moves whimsically from her days as a student in England to her efforts at an ill-fated honeymoon in London; and from her past desperate attempt to live in that city as a single mother, to the present, and wonderful, experience of traveling through the British countryside with a mate who loves it nearly as much as she.

The eccentricities of the British, the hustle and magic of London, and the sheer enormity of English history and tradition are woven throughout her work. A familiarity with England is irrelevant to the enjoyment of this book. Its witty prose and the warmth of Toth’s honesty in retelling moments from her past are a delight to the reader — like an old friend sharing secrets over a hot cup of tea.