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Set against the vibrant background of one of the world’s most dangerous cities, Oh Mexico! is not only a classic travel memoir, but also contains great narrative and stuffed with amazing facts about this country’s colourful history, lit up by warmth, wit, wisdom and pizzazz. With an eye for the bizarre and comic, Lucy Neville’s engaging account of surviving life and love in a vast, bustling Central American city is irresistible. After graduating from university with an Arts degree, she is faced with a dilemma: find a job or disappear to Latin America, the exotic land of her childhood dreams! Arriving in Mexico City with little money and only basic Spanish, Lucy’s To-Do list is simple enough: "Next morning I awoke and began writing a to do list. Not that I am an organised person, but I was feeling overwhelmed – and I always find that a to do list gives me a sense that there is a potential to cope with the situation. 1. Find something to eat, 2. Wash undies, 3. Learn Spanish and 4. Get a job." Lucy promptly finds work as an English teacher and scores a room in a sunny apartment. Her new flatmate, the well-connected Octavio, is unnervingly attractive. So begins a cavalcade of comic challenges as Lucy negotiates Mexico City’s stratified worlds, meeting everyone from street hawkers to crazy gringos, academics and socialites.
Lucy Neville was born in 1983. After completing school she worked as a volunteer on an indigenous reserve in Costa Rica. Returning to Australia she did an Arts Degree in Politics and Latin American Studies before travelling to Spain to study Teaching English as a Foreign Language. From there she continued to Mexico City where she has been living, teaching English, exploring and performing in a minor role in one of Mexico’s biggest soap operas, Tequila Loving.
“Neville’s first book is a travel memoir written with all the panache the pizzazz, the characters and suspense of a good novel.” – Adelaide Advertiser “At its very best, travel writing has the capacity to illuminate not only the heart of a traveller, but of a country, too. The page-turning journey that is Oh Mexico! manages to do both things with considerable skill and frequent hilarity ... Neville has the canny reserve of a born storyteller, capturing the dissonances as well as the melodies of expatriate life in a country like no other.” – Weekend West “A vibrant account of life in Mexico. It is a typical tale of an adventurous twenty-something ... Excellent when describing the challenge of finding a place to live, being overwhelmed by the sex appeal of her handsome flat mate, responding spontaneously to new and alien experiences, finding a job teaching English to a group of women she calls the ‘First Wives’ Breakfast Club’, struggling with the complexities of speaking a foreign language, unraveling the nuances of class in Mexican society and learning the subtleties and texture of daily life in Mexico City ... Neville is a talented writer whose easy, warm style and very ‘non-chick lit’ calmness in the presence of glamorous men makes for an entertaining account of two years and two loves in a city little known to many.” – Sydney Morning Herald “Part love story, part adventure, Oh Mexico! is a fun, light read, ideal for those eager to run away.” – Courier Mail “Lucy takes you along as she deals with public transport, shopping, the endless doubles entendres of the local language (almost everything has a secondary, sexual connotation), male machismo, local politics, a hilariously fraught visit by her parents and sister and much more. Anybody who has ever been a 20-something traveller should enjoy this engaging read – think Holy Cow in Mexico.” – Bookseller and Publisher “Mexico City is famous for decapitations and gang violence. So announcing you are moving there would worry most parents – even Lucy’s ‘unshockable’ father Richard Neville, once tried for obscenity in the infamous Oz Boys case. Lucy’s comic observation and eye for the bizarre results in a classic coming of age romantic travel memoir that mixes Almost French with Like Water for Chocolate.” – Northside