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by Holly Morris
Reviewed by Carianne Carleo-Evangelist

In Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for Women Who Are Changing the World, Holly Morris gives us a different kind of travel book. While many travelogues recount the author's own stories and experiences, including some interactions with people met on the road, Morris uses her book specifically as a vehicle for telling the stories of the women she met.

Morris left her job to make this trip. She met an interesting array of characters, and I am certain that a number of them ultimately did not fit within the constraints of the book. The women on whom Morris focuses serve as a window into their cultures. For example, a publisher in Iran must deal not only with the everyday challenges of publishing, but also with issues encountered in producing to a feminist magazine in a country that does not traditionally promote the role of women. Then there is Hinewehi Mohi, a Maori musician in New Zealand who seeks to overcome her country's cultural divisions through her music. These women are not just doing their daily work; they are changing things for those around them.

In several instances, Morris takes on the experiences of the Divas she is studying. She hunts for wild boar in Borneo, climbs the Matterhorn, and enters a camel race in the Sahara. In doing so, she not only showcases what these women do but also provides greater insight into the challenges faced in these activities and illustrates how exotic some women's day-to-day life can be.

The theme of Morris's book is that work for some women — playing many roles and in many countries throughout the world — is indeed an adventure. It can be challenging to explore the world without having one's preconceptions cloud the picture, but Morris works hard to avoid stereotypes. In Adventure Divas, she succeeds in offering her readers an unusual take on the traditional field of travel writing.