SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR by Emily Kimbrough


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A tour of Louisiana by the author and, eventually, five friends from college years proves that you can be abroad at home with little -- or almost little -- trouble. Earthbound Emily's idea of traveling by train does land them in New Orleans but not without awkward moments and the unfortunate affair of their reservations is soothed by the city itself. A station wagon gives them more mobility, they move on to the islands, the cane and rice and shrimp areas, they visit old houses, travel on a U. S. Mail Boat, see where tabasco sauce is made and marvel at the bird sanctuary there, they pick up friends and friends of friends and first hand versions of the history and lore of the country. Acadian and Cajun sightseeing, a da da, stopping places for shopping and eating, and food, food, food (there'll always be rye crisp for the future) keep the six itinerants in happy delight. There are precarious moments over Emily's long hair, Darn's white gloves, Sophy's navigation and shoebag, Ellen's breakfast egg, Luz's interpreting, but never let it be said the ladies do not have a larky time -- as will the reader.

Publisher: Harper