There are times that we long to return to those places that we have held deeply within our hearts from the time past and to see how things have changed since the last time we have been there.
I recall going back to the city where I graduated with my undergrad degree several years after my graduation and recalling the changes that occurred not only on campus itself, but also down the main road of town as businesses closed and new ones took their place. As buildings were raised and newer building rose out of the rumble.
Bryson once again brings his quick wit and humor to a beloved country that he can now say that he is not only a resident of, but also a citizen. This is not his first traipse around England and definitely not the first time that he has written about it. In Notes from a Small Island, he wandered the countryside and met many people along the way. He returns with another great contribution to the country that his wife grew up in and that he has now nearly spent half of his life.
His tongue in cheek commentary at times makes you wonder if he truly does appreciate the country or whether he is simply making fun of those things that he finds ridiculous. I would tend to agree with the latter as he seems to have little patience for the idiotic and returns to the places that at one point meant something to him now may seem almost mundane. There is a story wrapped up in each of these places and he shares it with a love that one can only gather by truly being in communion with it and its people.
I found myself laughing out loud at various points in the book and would encourage the reader not to be too embarrassed if you too chuckle in a public place while reading. His love for the country that he now calls home shines brightly and his writing brings it all to life for those that have not had the pleasure to visit in person.