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A Wilder Life

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The authors memoirs of her life as a doctor.  Part biography, part travelogue and part history.  Never a dull moment in this lady’s career as she manages to combine her love of travel with her work - a win, win situation for her.  Never knowing what might be around the corner, so definitely not a mundane life.  A perfect book for people interested in travel/medicine plus the odd adventure along the way!
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I was really excited about this book--talk about a fascinating premise!

Alas, it didn't pan out for me. The nonlinear story line and choppy writing just proved too distracting, along with some (to me, unnecessary) references to the author's or patients' sex lives, so it became a DNF.

Perhaps what I most enjoyed was the medical references; being in that field myself (albeit computer software), I really enjoyed seeing how much I'd picked up.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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I really tried to like this but felt the whole thing was a bit jumpy. There didn't seem to be a natural flow to it and it flitted between being a memoir of her life and big chunks of history about where she was posted which although interesting seemed to be slotted in whenever she felt like it. 
Sad to say I didn't finish it, it became a bit of a chore and something I should do rather than something I wanted to do.
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Thank you NetGalley, Joan Louwrens and Jonathan Ball Publishers for the ARC of A Wilder Life. This is my personal review.
A Wilder Life is an amazing story of a courageous strong woman who saw a need and went out in the world to fill it. She had lost her husband and a way to fill her soul was to go out and help others. She did this by traveling all over the world with her two daughters. She used her medical skills and took us with her through her memoir.
The places she saw and told us about filled a spot a lot of us have had the needed to be fill during the past year.
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The author has lived quite a life - adventure, travel and all sorts of interesting anecdotes to share.  She's very no-nonsense in her writing and is willing to tackle any challenge that comes her way.  The only thing that bothered me was that she would mention important events as an aside (her younger daughter's eating disorder, for example) and never really follow up on it, leaving the reader wondering what happened afterwards.
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I always like books about people who do special things. Joan Louwrens definitely has done some special things.

In her memoir Joan takes the reader to the places she's been, and it are some remarkable places! Her journey starts in Sout Africa, and she takes you just about around the world, from remote Tristan da Cunha to the Australian Outback, the Arctic, and the Antarctic. 
She's had some great adventures with her daughters and I envy her for some of them, certainly not all! With us still not able to travel due to the pandemic a book like this makes you itchy to get moving and explore the world. I like the history Louwrens provides of the places she's been, but sometimes it's just a bit too much. I also think she shouldn't use medical terms and explain them thoroughly all the time, maybe just mix them up a little, or just use layman's terms. I think layman's terms would work best for overall readability. 
It's fun to read about how she got to work in these remote places and have all these experiences, but maybe having it more as a story would work better. I feel that it is sometimes more anecdotal how this is told, like stories you tell at parties and now just put in a book. It's ok, almost every chapter is a standalone thing, but it's not necessarily nice to read.
So, I like her adventures, the people she meets, the places she goes, and the cases she has to handle, but the way it is told could have been better.
I also like Joan Louwrens, she seems like a strong and interesting woman, with an optimistic and determined outlook on life.
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This book put a medical spin on traveling to remote and beautiful locations all over the world. Joan is a doctor that practices in very rural, non-traditional settings- from tiny islands in the middle of the ocean to ornithology boats full of scientists going to the arctic to study the birds. Throughout this book, we are able to see how Joan grows as a doctor and learns new tips and tricks in each place she practices medicine. She is very humble and admits that she doesn’t always know all the answers right away, but is willing to try her best and figure out how she can care for each of her patients in very challenging situations. Joan’s story is truly eye opening and inspirational!
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Such a lovely book about a doctor working in the most remote places on our globe. It is very interesting reading about the challenges a doctor has in Kruger NP, Tristan de Cunha and other places not famous for their big shiny hospitals. The places are even more exciting than that. 

A couple of the cases in the book are memorable, but I think the atmosphere and the people are more important. Fascinating places and extraordinary people working and living in the oddest places. I bet Joan Louwrens has many more stories to tell, but it seems like the most special ones are in this book.

The author is a brave woman who has gone where most other people never go. She also did many of her years abroad in odd places as a single mother, with two growing girls. Huge respect!
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A Wilder Life follows spunky Dr. Louwrens on her world travels. As a doctor, she has lived on 3 different continents and had scores of adventures. I enjoyed reading about her most memorable patients. None of her stories were ultra gory for the more sensitive stomached readers. One of the most interesting stories was how she called a hospital to seek advice about someone who had ingested perfume. She was concerned about the chemicals, but was asked what year she graduated and told they no longer manufactured perfume with the same chemical content as they had in 1975. I chuckled because although a serious case, it was interesting how older information had changed with more modern times. Read this memoir if you want to follow an adventuresome doctor on her journeys.
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First of all can I just thank Joan Louwrens for letting us into her fascinating journey as a travelling doctor. This book is entertaining, easy to read and a deeply personal insight into to the life of a passionate and caring woman.

Every page is written with humility and respect for both human nature and physical nature of Mother Earth. From trips across rough seas to Kruger national park and the outback, you won’t be disappointed. 

The stories are excellent! Thank you for letting us into your amazing, adventure filled life. I recommend this book to anyone!
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Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I loved this book. I was so captivated by Joan's life as a travelling doctor.  Widowed young and raising two young girls, she administers healthcare in far flung places. Her open stance to adventure, especially the unexpected ones, and her resilience when she feels her skills didn't meet the challenge ahead, inspired me endlessly. Her learning attitude encouraged me greatly, always seeking out further options to develop her skills and apply them to new scenarios. 

Her writing was filled with awe for the people and places she encounter and with a real humility. I thought it was a thoroughly engaging read, although I found one or two sections harder to read than others. as the pace of her writing slowed. 

I would read again and have already recommended this book to a few friends.
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A Wilder Life – Joan Louwrens
Utterly fabulous book.  The author takes readers on a whirlwind tour around the world, visiting places you’ve never heard of and undertaking jobs you never imagined existed. 
From laugh out loud moments to those of sheer terror; these are mainly determined by the uniqueness of the people involved, the remoteness of the places and the vastness of the field of medicine.
Doctor Joan gives such a genuine insight, even allowing her own vulnerability to peek through at times, that the reader feels an empathy and warmth towards this strong, courageous yet thoroughly human professional. Her writing style is vivid and colourful, bringing incredible landscapes and activities to life. Her description of dentistry in Tristan de Cunha made my toes curl and my mouth clamp firmly shut. It will stay with me for quite some time!!
As a doctor, a mother, an adventurer and an author this Joan comes across as wonderfully talented yet down to earth. This book is a treasure and a pleasure and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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wonderfull real life account of one female doctors amazing life from the searing heat in africa to the cold of the artic and everything in between .i loved it .!!
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