ZEBRAS IN LONDON by Alison Archer

zebras A lovely coming of age book about a young woman.  Well, that’s what the blurb says about it.  Coming of age?  Not sure.  A young woman goes to London to take a three-month theater course.  Of course, in London it’s called a theatre course. Just making sure all you Americans are getting the Britishness of all of this.

While she is there, she wants to make a rubbing of a brass tomb plate from Britain to replace the one in her grandmother’s house in the USA, which she accidentally burnt up.  Don’t ask, it’s a bit complicated.

Anyway, she takes a trip out to some far away village because she researched and found what would seem to be that exact brass, and it’s raining cats and dogs.  She makes her way to the church where the brass is, to find that the nearby river is rising rapidly and all hands are out on sandbagging duty.  She meets the husband of the church clergywoman, and agrees to help.  Afterwards, she is invited back to the house where she meets the entire family and learns the story of their oldest son, who has left home and not spoken to anyone there in months.  Our heroine agrees to look for him in London in a theater company and give him a message from the family.

In so doing, she meets up with a screwy gal dressed in a zebra coat, who tells her she always wears some type of zebra pattern clothing every day.  She is a lesbian prostitute.  (I swear!  I couldn’t make this stuff up, I’m not that creative.) And through her our American gal sets off to find the missing son.

MEANWHILE  …. of course you knew there was a meanwhile, didn’t you?…..   we have a love story within the story concerning her grandmother Lana, (she of the burned up rubbing) who comes to London for other purposes, that would be to meet up with…..

Ok, enough.   Just know that this is a delightful book full of all kinds of twists and turns and surprises, and other than the crosswalks in London which are painted with white stripes and are referred to as zebra crossings, and the chick in the zebra print clothes, I am not sure about the title.  One of the characters talks about those crossings.  If a pedestrian is in one, a motorist will come to a full stop to let the person cross the street.  But the character ponders the idea of just standing there, not moving.  Will it tie up the city?   What if some other people stand on the other three crosswalks.  Could they tie up the entire country in gridlock?

Maybe that’s how we get stuck in our own lives — we become immobile on the crosswalks, and gridlock ensues in our lives.   Or not.   zebra-crossing-l



One comment on “ZEBRAS IN LONDON by Alison Archer

  1. I love the way you do reviews, Marti. I am intrigued, grounded, and ready for whatever the book you have looked into has to offer. Thanks.

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