Tak for turen! (Thanks for the Trip!) by Kristen Kirch
WARNING: This review contains spoilers.
Linda’s aunt was planning to go to Poland by bus with her husband, but then she broke her leg and so she couldn’t go. She gave the tickets to Linda instead and Linda invited her friend Gitte to come.
Gitte’s initial reaction was along the lines of: “that’s soooo boring. Isn’t Poland, like, for old people?” To which Linda replied: “you’ll be with me! Are you calling me boring?” (Linda and Gitte are in their early twenties.)
As soon as they get to the tour bus, they realize that they’re the youngest people there. Everyone is ancient – between 35 and 55 years old. The entire bus smells like Ben-Gay and prunes (I made that last part up. I don’t think you can even get Ben-Gay in Denmark).
The tour guide is a no-nonsense Polish woman named Jelena*, and she doesn’t like it when anyone is late for the bus. There’s also a driver named Michael. He’s a dirty old man (at least 35) and he soon starts making his move on Gitte.
The two young women befriend an even older man (55?), Henry, whose wife recently died of breast cancer. He’s nice and gentle and does not make any inappropriate advances on the girls. So they decide to stick with him.
They travel through Germany and get to Poland, where they’re soon on an excursion to a mountain lake. Michael is constantly inviting himself over to sit with them and Gitte is growing weary. She’s a pretty blonde woman. She’s met his type before.
At the lake, Michael convinces Linda (the more trusting one) to go for a swim. Gitte tags along, but reluctantly. The old man, Henry, is not around because he now chooses to hang out with some women his own age.
Well, here’s where things go bad. Very bad. There is some inappropriate touching and a heart attack. Luckily, all is well that ends well.
*no such name! Seriously, I’m Polish. I’ve never heard of anyone named Jelena. I asked my friend Kasia, who’s also in my Danish class and who’s also Polish if she’s heard of anyone named Jelena. She said: huh? Who’d name their kid Jelena?
- Number of words I had to look up: 77
- Would I recommend this book to a friend: Sure