Memoirs are tricky things in so far as there has to be a beginning to everything and to this end, in Playing House, Choi has selected a random place in her life, that of London.
Joining her there is somewhat confusing as you need to take a minute to realise the story has become the place and retrospectively the place is the story. In order to place Scott within the confines of the story you have to regress to earlier places in time and discover he is the central character in the memoir, which is surprising as most memoirs are about the writer. Once you have done that the journey is easy to relate too as she has written from the heart.
Backpacking about Europe and meeting the many colourful characters out to make a living from unsuspecting tourists will bring back many memories for those who have passed the same way, setting out to experience the great highs and lows of the world on a shoe string.
As with all things the end of the traveling life comes sooner for Amy, as homesickness sets in, leaving her beloved Scott to travel to other places and herself to return to Melbourne, setting up house and settling down. Once Scott has returned to Melbourne a holiday careers job at a summer camp leads Amy and Scott to become careers for a trouble teenager, Lydia. We share the love and anxiety of this role with both Scott and Amy, along with their sadness when Lydia chooses her own pathway through life.
Celebrating the birth of both their children is delightful, as is the trip to Hong Kong and the experiences they as a family share in the land of her father’s birth, Hong Kong .
This reflection and celebration of other times and places adds the finishing touches to a gentle wander down memory lane which will warm the heart.