Enjoyable read, especially after visiting the Tuscany region of Italy. The author’s knowledge of the area and beautiful descriptions of everything from the play of the sunlight over the hills and valleys, the small towns built around and as part of medieval fortresses on hilltops, the plethora of cathedrals and their quirky artifacts of the martyred saints, to the descriptions of the various wines and gourmet meals made at home or enjoyed in area cafes, restaurants, and friends’ homes, make this very interesting and pleasant to read. I don’t know how else to explain this other than saying it is a “full-bodied” book. It has much more to it than the movie made using the premise and title.
Frances Mayes looks back on her initial visits to Italy with her husband, Ed, in which they decide to buy a money pit of a house. They are both professors and writers from San Francisco, and they put everything (including the share she received after a painful divorce) into “Bramasole”.
Fortunately, they both have fallen hard for this house and seem to be a great team in all facets of their life together. She covers all the ins and outs of purchasing a house in a foreign country, hiring local workers, learning many crafts and skills from farming to building rock walls to re-tiling floors…and includes some of the local customs which may seem quirky or inefficient to someone not used to them.
The author writes using a very descriptive style, but it is so lovely, it is hard to skim through. It’s best to savor this book slowly.