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Virtuous Sinner Made in Vermont


Loved it! 😍

Fun vignette-based memoir of author's life and adventures in and outside of Vermont.

Virtuous Sinner Made In Vermont by Alexandra Langstaff is a charming, funny memoir by a globetrotting ski-instructor turned yogi. Langstaff was born and raised in Vermont, and her stories touch on the joys and frustrations of Vermont life and life "as far from Dorset, Vermont as [she] could get." The book is set up in a childhood to adulthood arc with individual vignettes that make setting time aside for reading easy.

Langstaff's joie de vivre shines through the pages, from her starting tales of Halloween costume competitiveness (girl spies in the 1960's should definitely have beaten out brides - anyone could be a bride, but how many girls got to be spies?) to her discovery of love in later life. Virtuous Sinner does a particularly good job depicting Langstaff's family relationships, as in this interchange in which Langstaff's sister places a prank call to their brother:

“We have reservations for Christmas vacation, can you give me directions from Chicago to Vermont?” When he lists off highway numbers and exits, she blows the prank, laughing. If he was serious, then he is an excellent customer service representative. If he knew it was Dee, then he’s a good brother playing along. 

Although I appreciated Langstaff's lighthearted approach, she glossed over some potentially quite moving moments in her story. The reader knows those moments are there, and though Langstaff touched on them, she seemed reluctant to give them emotional weight. Yet, as the book is meant to be humor, it works.

Still, the writing was strong and the stories good-humored: Vermonters will appreciate the difficulties of mud season, and non-Vermonters will laugh as they learn. The same is true for other tales that follow the author from Vermont to the hotels of Spain and the ski resorts of Australia before she comes home to Vermont once more. All in all, I recommend this book to anyone looking for a lighthearted anecdote-based memoir to gift or to enjoy for themselves.

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I have numerous interests, from history to mystery, science to kids. I am a retired MD - a transplant left me with time for family, friends, faith, fun, fiction, film, & furry companions. For direct submissions, pls let me know why you're requesting me. Use FB or my em, :) .

Getting Smart

About the author

Alexandra Langstaff is a yoga teacher, creative movement specialist, and author...born in Vermont and molded by the world. Her blog explores yoga in the real world and things that make her laugh. view profile

Published on December 07, 2020

Published by

50000 words

Genre: Humor & Comedy

Reviewed by