Mousetrapped - Catherine Ryan Howard (2010)

This travel memoir chronicles Catherine's experience of working in Walt Disney World. She dreams of a sunkissed life in Florida while working in the happiest place on Earth, a place where she is surely destined to find personal happiness. But it's hard to be happy when you turn up for your first day of work only to be told that you can't work without a social security number, and end up living in a squatters' den in a room with a panic button. When she finally gets her social security number and begins her employment, Catherine finds herself trapped on a treadmill of work and her awful dwellings, where she can't sleep and has no money left over from her rent and expenses to make life bearable. Where are the weekends by the beach, mornings by the pool and the life of endless fun that she'd dreamed of? Things improve when Catherine becomes friends with Eva, who takes her around the Disney parks and helps Catherine remember why she'd wanted to work for Disney World. In between dealing with cleaning up projectile vomit in the hotel she works in, she rekindles her love for America by taking trips to the Kennedy Space Center and the town of Celebration, and fulfils a lifelong dream when she sees the space shuttle Discovery lift into orbit. But does Orlando hold the answers she's looking for in life, or is it just a playground to have fun at on her way to something else? Mousetrapped is an interesting, quirky tale with a conversationalist tone and a likeable narrator, packed with tales about space shuttle launches, religious theme parks and even a Bruce Willis story. (SBB)

Mousetrapped, the memoir by Catherine Ryan Howard, takes you behind the scenes of the happiest place on earth - Walt Disney World. The summary says: "When Catherine Ryan Howard decides to swap the grey clouds of Ireland for the clear skies of the Sunshine State, she thinks all of her dreams - working in Walt Disney World, living in the United States, seeing a Space Shuttle launch - are about to come true. Ahead of her she sees weekends at the beach, mornings by the pool and an inexplicably skinnier version of herself skipping around Magic Kingdom. But not long into her first day on Disney soil - and not long after a breakfast of Mickey-shaped pancakes - Catherine's Disney bubble bursts and soon it seems that among Orlando's baked highways, monotonous mall clusters and world famous theme-parks, pixie dust is hard to find and hair is downright impossible to straighten..." You can find out more at the author's website.

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