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Bernadette Nason
Broken by divorce, debt, and workplace sexual harassment, twenty-six-year-old Bernadette Nason is hanging by a thread. When her cat is run over by a garbage truck, Nason makes an impetuous decision. With almost no travel experience, she grabs the first available overseas job and, within two months, finds herself in Libya. 'Fitting in' has never been her strength, yet here she is, the most unstable, self-loathing, slightly overweight fish ever to throw itself recklessly out of its own water. Move over, Bridget Jones, there's a new, real-life idiot in town. Inspired by her expatriate adventures during Gaddafi's turbulent regime, c. 1984-85, Nason covers her thwarted desire to 'fit in', from bizarre daily life to terrifying confrontations with the Morality Police. Told with candor and wit, TEA IN TRIPOLI, follows a young woman's attempts to escape her past on an extraordinary, often perilous, journey of self-discovery.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.75 out of 10


Plot: Nason’s experiences and adventures are thrilling and unfamiliar, and the pacing of the memoir is perfect—it begins with her moving from England to Libya and ends with her returning home, highlighting her experiences along the way.

Prose: Nason’s prose is carefully crafted and highly descriptive. She inserts humor into the story while also communicating the intensity of each anecdote. Nason's narrative voice is engaging and honest.

Originality: This memoir is absolutely original and authentic and reads like an artifact from another time. The use of journal entries, book excerpts, and photographs also enhances the unique qualities that make this memoir stand out.

Character Development: Readers will immediately become attached to Bernadette. Secondary characters are also written with great depth and detail. The characters, along with the setting, will captivate readers and immerse them in Bernadette’s unbelievable adventures.

Date Submitted: June 07, 2018