"Cabin Fever" a fluffy summer-ending read

“Cabin Fever” a fluffy summer-ending read

There’s a little café in Vienna you’ve heard about, that you’ve always wanted to see.

You understand it’s tucked in an out-of-the-way place, somewhere quiet with incredible food and a view that no one tires of. Just thinking about it tickles your wanderlust and you’d pack in a minute, if you could – but first, read “Cabin Fever” by Mandy Smith (with Nicola Stow), and buckle up.

If it wasn’t for domestic violence, Mandy Smith might never have become a flight attendant.

It was a summer night in 1999 when she’d gone out with her then-boyfriend to a concert where he immediately disappeared, presumably to buy drugs. Angry and fed-up, Smith told him she was breaking up with him and, in a rage, he beat her bloody.

Days later, a co-worker offered Smith sympathy and an idea: he’d just been hired as a pilot for Virgin Atlantic, and he knew they were hiring “stewardesses.” He urged her to go for it – and why not? She was young, gorgeous, and newly footloose. She applied, passed her tests with flying colors and received her iconic red uniform.

On her first long assignment (to New York City), she knew she’d found her dream job. Shopping was fabulous. Parties there, and in every city where Virgin Atlantic had a hub, were non-stop: fancy food, alcohol, nudity, pranks, and new acquaintances.

Some were acquaintances she slept with, after breaking up with yet another boyfriend.

Though flying to exotic locations was a great perq (getting there really could be half the fun!), there were downfalls to the job. One of those was not seeing the people she loved for weeks on end. Smith indicates that passengers could be a challenge, too, but they were also another source for more parties, more dates, more fun – although even the best of times can get old after awhile of turbulence, terrorism, and loneliness.

Smith wanted more out of life. She wanted love. And so, after twelve years of being a “trolley dolly,” Smith says, “It was time for me to hang up that red skirt and move on.”

Oh, I scarcely know where to begin.

Let’s start here: I liked this book. I liked it because it was fluffy and rompy, a Britishism-filled, cotton-candy, end-of-summer read.

Sadly, that’s also a major drawback to “Cabin Fever.”

Indeed, there’s not a lot of solidity in this book, unless you count the sex: author Mandy Smith (with Nicola Stow) doggedly writes about sex on planes, the beach, pools, in hotels, pages and pages of four-letter-worded explicitness, which gets tiresome and disappointing and may infuriate readers who’ve fought hard to overcome old Coffee Tea or Me stereotypes. Yes, I believe you could be forgiven for wondering if there’s just a little embellishment going on here, and you might roll your eyes. I know I did.

And yet – I was amused. I didn’t expect a lot here, but what I got was okay. And if that’s the kind of summer’s-almost-over book you need, “Cabin Fever” is what you’ll want to see.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Email her at bookwormsez@gmail.com.

More in Life

File
Minister’s Message: Who is this man?

Over and over again, they struggle to rightly name who he is and what he’s up to

A still from “Casting Maya,” a film about Ascension Bay on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is seen in this screenshot. From Pure Films, the short will be one of nine shown at the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on Aug. 10 in Kenai, Alaska. (IF4/flyfilmfest.com)
Anglers’ night out

Annual International Fly Fishing Film Festival returns to Kenai

Candy pecans make a sweet snack to enjoy on excursions. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Road trip reimagined

Candied pecans accompany more subdued wandering

Robert C. Lewis photo courtesy of the Alaska Digital Archives 
Ready to go fishing, a pair of guests pose in front of the Russian River Rendezvous in the early 1940s.
The Disappearing Lodge, Part 1

By the spring of 1931, a new two-story log building — the lodge’s third iteration — stood on the old site, ready for business

Viola Davis stars in “The Woman King.” (Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.)
On the screen: Women reign in latest action flick

‘The Woman King’ is a standout that breaks new ground

Artwork donated for the Harvest Auction hangs at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Auction, juried show to showcase local talent

Kenai Art Center will host its annual Harvest Auction this weekend, juried art show next month

Sweet and tart cranberry pecan oat bars are photographed. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Cranberries to match the bright colors of fall

Delicious cranberry pecan oat bars are sweet and tart

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Take a chance

The fact of the matter is, you can find a way to hurt yourself in just about any athletic endeavor.

Alaska Digital Archives
George W. Palmer (left), the namesake for the city in the Matanuska Valley and the creek near Hope, poses here with his family in 1898 in the Knik area. Palmer became a business partner of Bill Dawson in Kenai in the last years of Dawson’s life.
Bill Dawson: The Price of Success, Part 5

Thus ended the sometimes tumultuous Alaska tenure of William N. Dawson.

File
Minister’s Message: Plenty

The Bible story of Joseph in Egypt preparing the harvest in the seven years of plenty teaches us some vital lessons

A still from “Jazzfest.” (Photo provided)
DocFest could be the golden year of documentaries — again

Homer Documentary Film Festival returns for 18th year with solid mix

From left: Lacey Jane Brewster, Terri Zopf-Schoessler, Donna Shirnberg, Tracie Sanborn and Bill Taylor (center) rehearse “Menopause Made Me Do It” on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Applause for menopause

Kenai Performers’ new play takes aim at ‘not the most glorious part of womanhood’