Carmen Michael, a twenty-eight-year-old travel industry executive, ditches her job in London and visits the city of Rio de Janeiro for a holiday. Wary of the allure of glossy brochure promises, she starts out very much as a jaded jetsetter.
Her scepticism, however, is swiftly overcome when she moves into a yellow mansion owned by Gustavo, a flamboyant bachelor who lives in the hills between the favelas.
In the forgotten bairros of old Rio, Carmen embraces Latin American life with all its colour, danger, and unpredictability. She flirts with Brazilian high society, collaborates with an Italian revolutionary, walks straight into the well-sprung trap of a local hustler, runs away from him to Buenos Aires and then runs back — only to fall for a samba musician from the local bohemian quarter.
Winding its way through the anarchic backstreets of bohemian Rio, far from the glitzy beaches for which the city is more famous, Chasing Bohemia looks at the extraordinary musical culture, unapologetic hedonism, and rampant infidelity that rule this far-flung paradise of the tropics.
Written with great vivacity, Chasing Bohemia is a story about living for the day — and the surprising little truths about yourself you can discover through being immersed in poverty, isolation, and a culture that is not your own.