From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Prolific architecture writer Rybczynski reflects upon his personal and intellectual foundations in this engaging collection of memoir essays. Observing that his predilection toward the imaginative life has much to do with the strong personalities of his grandparents and his parents' displacement amid World War II, Rybczynski affectionately recounts their stories in considerable detail. Although the second half of this book offers glimpses of Rybczynski's childhood and peripatetic young adulthood (including enviable European architecture tours and a brief residence in bohemian Ibiza), the stories of his ancestors in the first half are very much this account's emotional core. Should he emulate his maternal grandfather start a career, get married, settle down, do something useful or should he seek the apparent freedom of turning one's back on the world, like his paternal grandfather (and namesake)? Readers expecting revelations about architecture may be surprised to discover that Rybczynski is less concerned with the edifices of his profession than he is with drawing subtler, more intimate connections between the constant motion of one's surroundings and the process of finding one's home in the world.--Driscoll, Brendan Copyright 2009 Booklist