Author: Audrey Davis
Charlotte Egerton and family are off to Switzerland, after husband Dom bags a big-time job promotion.
But Charlotte isn’t exactly yodelling with delight at the prospect. Not since a chance discovery cast a shadow over her ten-year marriage. And navigating twisty Swiss roads and getting to grips with French only adds to her woes…
Following a bumpy encounter with an arrogant German, Charlotte is far from convinced the expat life is for her.
With doubts about Dom — and concerns for her best friend, Ruth — plaguing her mind, will Charlotte embrace the Swiss way of life, or are some mountains just too hard to conquer?
Embark on a journey filled with laughter, tears and lessons in love. Sometimes you just have to seize the day…
Lost in Translation is brilliant tale to aptly illustrate what happens when you move your whole family abroad. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to live abroad in a brand new country where English wasn’t the primary language, although there were those that spoke it, at least once in my life. My personality is different than the main character’s as I actively seek it out where I can, however, I have known many people that were very similar to the main character and I can understand exactly where she’s coming from throughout her experience.
We first meet our main character Charlotte Egerton in Switzerland as she is adjusting to her new life there and she’s still not convinced that this life is for her. After a short while, we go back in time to show how she ended up there with her family before returning to present day and into the future. This timeline was very well-done as there isn’t too much revealed in the beginning, but you get an overall sense of Charlotte’s initial time living in a foreign country and her family. The writing flows effortlessly and you feel engaged the whole time, even though, it was easy for me to guess what the conclusion would look like early on. Charlotte’s overall personality gets highlighted in this story and it was great how she was written as a multi-dimensional character that I could easily relate to even if my experiences weren’t exactly the same as hers.
Dom and Charlotte have been married for many years and have two young sons. Charlotte used to work as a medical receptionist, but quit in order to spend time as a stay-at-home mom to her growing children. Dom’s job is in furniture and lifestyle where he works all the time where he stays in the office later or is constantly on the phone. He’s a fairly checked out husband who expects Charlotte to handle it all and doesn’t understand how her life as a homemaker can be so stressful when he thinks he’s the only one under pressure. Honestly, I could not stand Dom from the first sentence he is mentioned. I understand how Charlotte is his wife and he loves her, but I would’ve left Dom the moment any of his negative traits showed. There’s being a workaholic and then there’s checking out entirely and I feel he tended to not care about anything other than himself, with sometimes having some interest in his family.
Their life in quiet suburbia UK is suddenly at risk when Dom declares that his company is expanding internationally and they will need to relocate to Switzerland for him to head up the new office there. Charlotte loves her creature comforts and cannot fathom how she’ll get by without the familiar aspects of Tesco or other parts of her daily routine. Although she wants to support her husband, she is very reluctant to go. The family moves to smaller town Switzerland with a view of the water, one of my dreams, and Charlotte begins to adapt to life there. Her adventures driving on the right side of the road were hilarious and completely relatable as I felt the exact same way the first time I tried! She ends up making friends with a few of the other moms from school and one hunky single German dad.
The friendships that were formed were very relatable as when you are in a foreign environment, you tend to open yourself up in different ways compared to how you would be at home. At least that is how my experiences have gone in the past. Charlotte relates to Jürgen, the German dad, as he has past experiences with a cheating spouse and she relates to him when she has suspicions about her own husband. She also maintains her connection to her best friend, Ruth, who is still in the UK and I like how they make sure that they talk to each other either through text, phone calls, or the internet. Ruth was a great secondary character as she was a great friend to Charlotte while she was dealing with her own issues.
Every decision made by every character, whether you agreed with them or not, was all very relatable and genuine. Nothing in the writing felt forced just to move the story along which was very refreshing. There’s just the right amount of information about Swiss culture that give the story another dimension as it helps the reader envision the overall environment and fuels my desire to visit the country again. The language barriers that Charlotte faces were very relatable and well-done because they were brought up organically and I felt myself in her shoes many times as I’ve been there more times than I can count.
Overall, the writing of each character was very well-done as it lets the reader form their own opinions as they travel along with Charlotte. Each chapter was easy to follow and I tore through this novel in only a few hours as it kept me interested the whole time. As a reader, you journey through the ups and downs that come with any relationship and you experience how Charlotte grows as a person. It was a great read and I would read more by this author without hesitation as this novel was fantastic!
**I give a special thank you to Booksprout and the author for the ARC to read and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.**