Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nadine Pisani and her Happier Sequel

     The story of Nadine Pisani’s deserved success with her first book, “Happier Than a Billionaire” has been well chronicled. It is a humanistic look at the first year she and her husband Rob spent living in Costa Rica. I thoroughly enjoyed it and wrote a review saying so because I felt she had shown both sides of living here and she had done it with her adroit humor, not an easy task. At the time, I’d asked Nadine if she had any plans for a second book and she replied that she had already begun a follow-up.
     “Happier Than a Billionaire – The Sequel” has been recently released. After reading only the first few pages, I had the sensation of seeing an old friend again. The book revolves around the couple’s second year here, adjusting to their new environment in Guanacaste and building their dream home in Paradise. And here she is again, Nadine the storyteller, addressing her audience directly like she is chatting with each and every one of us individually. She was good at this in her first book and I couldn’t help noting as I read the Sequel that she has actually gotten better at her craft.
     Nadine and Rob are Mr. & Mrs. Yin and Yang: she likes to plan, is hesitant, cautious; Rob, on the other hand, likes to plunge into it, be persistent and approach the goal perceiving a positive result. It creates a nice balance, a symbiosis in this Dynamic Duo. Their likelihood of success would be a lot less if they were two gung-ho types or an overcautious couple tumbling together into Central America. But together, they are able to take on all comers: a seemingly senseless municipality, makeshift mechanics, killer bees and lurking crocodiles, lunatic fringe neighbors and even a month-long visit by Nadine’s parents and a visit from Rob’s mom. 

Nadine in front of my shop
     I appreciated Nadine’s explanation early on that this form of paradise is not necessarily for everyone, because that much is certainly true. Along the way, she discovers herself taking the time to appreciate the little things in life, to exert patience over panic, plus utilizing her unique humor as a form of catharsis.
     I particularly enjoyed reading her entries about trying to publish her first book – the one that subsequently took off like a house on fire. I like witnessing that, seeing her push to make that happen. Throughout both books, it is the authenticity of the writer’s “voice” that makes the book such a joy to read. Nadine told me that in part, one of her goals for writing a sequel was to prove to herself that she wasn’t just a “one trick pony”. I believe she has cleared that hurdle with sparkling colors. “Happier Than a Billionaire: The Sequel” is available at Jaime Peligro book store in Playa Tamarindo.
     So what’s next for the wonder girl? Nadine recently revealed to me that she is looking into starting her own production company and that her first project will be a cooking show. Mangia!

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