Halfway to Each Other is a true story about Susan Pohlman and her family.

Susan had decided right after she and her husband of eighteen years got back from a business trip to Italy that she was going to tell him she wanted a divorce.

On the last day of their trip they fantasized about what their lives would be like if they lived there. After finding a school for their children (called the American School of Genoa although they find out later there are actually only three other Americans attending), they signed a lease on an apartment. They go home to tell their two children – a fourteen year-old daughter, Katie and an eleven-year old son, Matt – that they’re all moving to Italy.

Living in a small town in Italy, the family learns many cultural lessons together. Things such as not sleeping with their windows open because of the gypsies, wearing plastic gloves in the grocery store when you handle the produce, and that the buses aren’t free.

When they lived in California Susan and her husband were so used to their children slamming doors and picking on each other that they figured they were part of normal sibling rivalry. But once in Italy, Katie and Matt would sit playing cards quietly by themselves in the backroom for hours. The move had made their children see each other through new eyes. For the first time, they could actually relate to what the other one was going through.

Halfway to Each Other is a story about an American family who has too much stuff and an over-scheduled lifestyle leaving all the craziness behind in order to strengthen their bonds with each other. It was a beautifully written book that reaffirms everything I’ve learned about simple living over the past year.

For more information on Susan Pohlman, please see her website