How To Fall In Love With a Man Who Lives in a Bush by Emmy Abrahamson
Julia is bored with her life as an English teacher in Austria. She moved there from Sweden with her boyfriend Matthias but things didn’t work out. Now she takes on as many classes at Berlitz as she can just to fill the hours and dreads the long weekends waiting for Monday to arrive. Until one day while sitting on a bench in the park a man sits next to her and starts talking. His name is Ben, he’s from Canada and she’s fairly certain he’s quite handsome under all that facial hair and beneath the rather pungent smell. Ben is charming and wonderful to talk to unlike the few dates she has gone on recently but Ben is different from anyone else she has ever met. His money ran out, he hasn’t got a way to get home and he’s been living under a bush.
I really wanted to love this book. I was intrigued by the premise, having a person that is marginalized by society as the love interest. I was entertained and I was thrilled when conventional Julia gave Ben a chance; but I have to admit towards the end of the book I didn’t want them to end up together. When I really got to know Ben I didn’t really like him very much. He’s homeless because he can’t plan and doesn’t have any drive; for him living outdoors or squatting in an abandoned building is a lifestyle choice. In a lot of ways he hasn’t yet become an adult. Julia isn’t perfect, she wants to turn Ben into her own Eliza Doolittle, but but I found myself hoping that she would realize that you can’t make a person into something they don’t want to become.
I’ll just have to wait for someone else to write the book I was hoping this would be.