Reviewed by Svetla Dimitrova
“Bruce and Stormy McDonald’s story of their Peace Corps service in Bulgaria is honest and beautifully written. It will make you laugh and cry and you will think of it long after you have finished reading the book. As a scholar of Bulgaria’s postsocialist transformation…. I plan to use the book in my college classes on postsocialisms, development, and the sociology of culture…. I feel inspired!”
— Svetla Dimitrova, 24 March 2015. Full Review…
Reviewed by Ken Hill, peacecorpsworldwide.org
“Theirs was an extraordinary experience, shared masterfully in A Breeze in Bulgaria… Intense relationships and cultural discoveries abound in this well told story. Their [Peace Corps Volunteer] narrative transcends the predictable… A Breeze in Bulgaria is a page-turner, navigating twists and turns, capturing characters and challenges.”
— Ken Hill, 30 June 2012. Full Review…
Reviewed by Ellis Shuman, Ellis Shuman Writes
“Readers will enjoy this colorful introduction to Bulgaria, a beautiful country with a long history and a proud heritage. The Bulgarians who played roles in the McDonalds’ story are warm and eager to welcome foreigners into their homes. Bruce and Stormy McDonald provide us with so many memorable stories, anecdotes and adventures that we can’t help but want to make a visit to Bulgaria.”
— Ellis Shuman, author of Valley of Thracians, 12 February 2013. Full Review…
Reviewed by Maria Sutton, Amazon.com
“Part of the training Bruce and Stormy McDonald received from the Peace Corps for their new adventure in a foreign country included ‘observe, evaluate, adapt.’ Their assignment is to teach English to children in Bulgaria, a former Soviet bloc country emerging from socialism into democracy and free enterprise. The business and educational practices in Bulgaria are quite dissimilar to that of the United States, and Bruce colorfully describes life in Bulgaria and its people with affection and a sprinkling of dry humor… From the ancient Roman ruins, to the lush green hills, apricot trees, babas, monolithic Soviet-style architecture, and rakiya, I got an insider’s view…”
— Maria Sutton, author of The Night Sky, 23 March 2013. Full Review…
Reviewed by Deena, Amazon.com
“A Breeze in Bulgaria is a wonderful glimpse at a country that most people mix up with either Bolivia or Belarus. Bulgaria, the crossroads between Europe and Asia, has a rich culture and colorful history, which Bruce captures… His writing is honest and simple, much like the Bulgarian way of life. If you are thinking about joining the Peace Corps and/or traveling to Bulgaria, I highly recommend adding A Breeze in Bulgaria to your reading list.”
— Deena, 1 September 2012. Full Review…
Reviewed by Gary L. Roll, Amazon.com
“Back in the days of the Cold War, Bulgaria brought to my mind a Soviet Bloc country, dark and bleak; with a brooding, suppressed population, and secret police lurking everywhere; impossible to visit and not a nice place to live, at all. The Soviet Union is no more and the Iron Curtain came down more than twenty years ago. But it took reading [this book] to dispel my old stereotypes of that country.
“McDonald describes the beauty and history of Bulgaria. Most importantly, he helps the reader to experience Bulgaria through the lives of its citizens. [He] shows the Bulgarians to be a warm and generous people of incredible resilience… This truly is a book to read and remember.”
— Gary L. Roll, 28 April 2012. Full Review…
Reviewed by Jason Tutors, Apple iBooks
“Beautiful portrayal of a land and culture ripe with differences from America so stark it leaves the reader in continual wonderment. At the same time, many common threads are made visible that touch on all aspects of the human experience. This account spans less than two years yet touches on details and relationships, cultural and personal, that are timeless. Whether one is considering a venture to this part of the globe in body or mind, A Breeze in Bulgaria will pave the way.”
— Jason Tutors, 15 July 2013.
Reviewed by Babs, Amazon.com
“This was an awesome book! From a historical viewpoint, I had no idea of what had occurred in Bulgaria and it was quite educational to learn of the hardships suffered by the people for such a long period of occupation. The writer did an incredible job of making the reader feel like they were a part of the story through his details of the lives of the writer and his wife and their students and co-workers. Great writing style, a gentle read and a wonderful story. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It was so nice to be able to share in the adventure.”
— Babs, 10 April 2012.
Reviewed by Judi, Amazon.com
“This is a MUST read for anyone who wants to know what the Peace Corps experience is like. Bruce blends his descriptions of Bulgarian daily life, teaching school there, love of the children, friendships with the people, participating in the customs of the country, travel, and creating projects to improve everyone’s life.”
— Judi, 11 March 2011. Full Review…
Reviewed by Alexi Paulina, Google Books
“A Breeze in Bulgaria is much more than a memoir. It’s a ‘virtual tour’ into a contemporary Eastern European culture, as seen through the eyes of American Peace Corps volunteers who embrace their assignment with courage, curiosity, and openness. And, it’s a ‘love story’ that transcends the label.
“Bruce McDonald’s quick wit had me laughing out loud at the most unexpected places throughout the book. He has a unique gift for effectively blending humor and poignancy, and proves that maintaining one’s sense of humor can carry a person through the most difficult of times.
“If you’re a person who doubts that ‘true love’ really exists in our world, this book will assure you that it does.”
— Alexi Paulina, author of From the Ashes, 10 December 2012.
Reviewed by C. Doran, Amazon.com
[A Breeze in Bulgaria] “is a vivid account that will create echoes of one’s own service for any returned volunteer such as myself. For a person considering PC service, it faithfully reproduces the triumphs and and frustrations of working and teaching in Eastern Europe. Beyond realistically portraying PC life, it chronicles the life, times and history of Bulgaria in a way that brings it to life.”
— C. Doran, 19 June 2012. Full Review…
Reviewed by J&B Wines, Amazon.com
“…puts into wonderful prose many of the thoughts and feelings that we experienced in our time in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria…
“He does not shy away from the reality of the difficult lives of many Bulgarians but captures their spirit, kindness and willingness to share all they owned with all of us…
“Bruce’s insight on Bulgarian History and Culture, also make this a great read, not just for Peace Corps aficionados but for anyone contemplating a visit to Eastern Europe.”
— J&B Wines, 11 June 2012. Full Review…
Reviewed by jpmb, Amazon.com
“After traveling in Bulgaria and learning to love the country and its people it was really nice to come across this book. it has wonderful insights into the life of the average Bulgarian. a great book for anyone interested in Bulgarian travel or relocation.”
— jpmb, 5 November 2012.
Reviewed by Dimitre, Amazon.com
“I hope this book would be as interesting to a general reader as it is to people with Peace Corps experience/relation (such as most of the reviewers to date) or a Bulgarian, such as myself… It is neither a novel nor a travel guide… The uniqueness of the book is in the telling of a simple human love story which would be in many ways different if it did not happen in Bulgaria!
“I have come to appreciate more the free and open American spirit (Yes, to me this wasn’t a book about Bulgaria only). Words like charity, volunteering, patience, objectiveness and tolerance were redefined for me by an American ex-pilot teaching Bulgarian kids.”
— Dimitre, 8 January 2013. Full Review…
A Breeze in Bulgaria is available as an eBook. e-Book Sources. The print edition may be available in used condition from time to time.