Pursuit to Paradise
Mary Anne Marlowe’s got gumption and she has been willing to demonstrate it throughout her adult life. Her recent autobiographical book, “Pursue to Paradise” demonstrates just how resourceful and resilient she truly is as it recounts her decade of living in Costa Rica by herself and as a single mom, battling for custody of her son, Chaz. The book opens with her pulling the plug on her life in Toronto, Canada and freeing herself from the “herd mentality” as she puts it, then relocating to Guanacaste, specifically Playa Flamingo, on basically nothing but her wherewithal, her “sandal strap budget”, again in her words.
The book is divided into nine chapters, beginning in 2001, with her arrival in Guanacaste as she immediately demonstrates her ability to adapt to her surroundings and situations. Within no time at all, she has a place to live and a small restaurant called The Hillside Café (for those here long enough to remember it) and is making and soliciting her homemade fragrant candles on the side. She’s figured out a niche with her wholesome style of cooking and canvassing for candle clientele, while she battles with her son’s custody with his father, for whom she has not one single good word throughout the book.. In the meantime, she gains notoriety from the locals for being an early riser, a beachcomber with the ability to locate discarded goods and “natural gifts”, such as driftwood and shells, and transform them all into something useful, without cost. She also begins single-handedly manufacturing and distributing ice cream at a wholesale scale, an amazing feat.
Throughout the book, Mary Anne discovers more and more about herself as she spends more time in Costa Rica and discovers more about this place as well. She finds herself becoming more and more healthy, physically and mentally, and does find a way to reunite with Chaz here in Costa Rica. I have to say that throughout the book, she seems to have bad luck with her relationships with men. She also pulls no punches about those men’s ultimate selfishness and general bad behavior. But she is also surrounded by good friends she has accumulated, quirky as they might be, who are continually there to lend a hand for her.
Her journey in Costa Rica eventually takes her to Lake Arenal when she decides to relocate and try new approaches to making a living, being a mom, and being in a relationship. The most amazing factors I found in the book were Mary Anne’s focus, her unwavering determination and her ability to make her goals materialize. She has fallen in love with Costa Rica and the style of life here and now sees her calling as passing these lessons on to others. I wish her all the luck in the world.
I was lucky enough to get hold of an advance copy to read for this review, but by the time this article is published, it should be ready for purchase by the general public at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Jaime Peligro book store in Playa Tamarindo.