First We Quit Our Jobs: How One Work Driven Couple Got on the Road to a New Life

Marilyn Abraham, Author
Marilyn Abraham, Author Dell Publishing Company $19 (256p) ISBN 978-0-440-50757-4
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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Many contemplate dropping off the corporate fast track to seek a simpler way of life. Abraham and her husband, Sandy MacGregor, did just that, leaving their New York executive jobs behind as they hit the road in the RV they nicknamed Sue. After 15 years of climbing through the ranks of the publishing industry (Bantam to Ballantine to Dell to editor-in-chief at Prentice Hall and Simon & Schuster trade paperbacks), Abraham said to her boss, ""I'm resigning."" Ignoring the warnings of well-meaning friends, the couple outfitted Sue, established an e-mail connection and embarked on a 15,241-mile journey that took them through Canada to Alaska and down to New Mexico on their route back to New York. Retraining themselves in the art of living, they devoted time and energies not to paperwork but to the discovery of various foods, cultures, places, people and themselves. As a former book editor, Abraham knows how to edit herself, and her book is never boring, since it takes the stance that new vistas are not only just over the next hill but also just a page away. Throughout, she steers back to her main theme, a comparison of old and new ways of life: ""Time rubberized. The trip was making me aware of the silliness of the concept of bite-size time. Time was big. When we nibbled away at it, chiseling out this appointment, that meeting, another lunch date, we had made it small."" The book is both a travelogue, including historic as well as literary sites, and a food guide-with cookouts, farm stands, grocery stores, markets, regional foods and restaurants (with stops at some of the places found in Jane and Michael Stern's Roadfood). In sharing her thoughts with the reader, Abraham turns her roadside observations into an intimate memoir. Illustrations. (Feb.) FYI: The couple takes Sue back on the road for an eight-city book tour.
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