Book Reviews, New Releases

Jack Scott Reviews The Winding Road to Portugal

Ask twenty men how they came to live in Portugal and you’ll get some surprising answers. In this clever and well-crafted book, Louise Ross sits back and lets the men do the talking in their own words, and the result is fascinating, moving and funny. Take the Aussie brothers who converted a Lisbon kebab shop into a café/bar after clearing land mines in Afghanistan. Then there’s the Uber driver, a child of the Angolan civil war who became a refugee in the UK, returned to Luanda – only to get shot – and eventually carved out a future in Lisbon. Add a splash of humour from Kevin and his ‘shits and giggles’, a bit of gay flair in the form of Colm and his flowery pink bags in Moscow, life-threatening illnesses, brushes with cancer, Ayurvedic medicine, Papua New Guinea missionaries, Turkish cuisine and street violence in São Paulo, and you are served a remarkable and satisfying smorgasbord. What unites these men is their appreciation of what Portugal has given them; as Richard Zimler says in his moving foreword, “Moving to Portugal saved my sanity.” The ‘where are they now?’ sections are a really nice touch too, particularly the COVID-19 updates. Highly recommended.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.