Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun

At Home in Italy

Book - 1997
Average Rating:
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A chronicle of the author's first four years in Italy, describing her purchase and restoration of an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside, her transformation of the overgrown gardens, and her discovery of the many links between the food and culture of the region.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, 1997
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [1996]
Copyright Date: ©1996
ISBN: 9780767900386
Branch Call Number: 914.504 MAYES MAYES
Characteristics: 291 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: At home in Italy
Notes: "Excerpts from this book appeared in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and House Beautiful"

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s
sashalee123
Jul 02, 2017

Nice account of her adopted home..a bit long winded and repetitive for me.. I saw the movie first..they do not compare, storylines are completely different..

r
RebelBelle13
Aug 03, 2016

It is entirely obvious from the first paragraph you read that Mayes is completely in love with Tuscany, and Italy itself. She loves everything about it-from the food, to the people, to the very land. Reading her novel is like reading someone's diary- seeing their world through rose colored glasses. Her descriptions of everything are so vivid, so colorful, so deep, that I can almost imagine myself in Cortona, and I've never been to Europe. Mayes' writing is romantic and completely immersive, and that's what kept me going. It took me a long time to finish, because I kept having to put it down and come back to it later- simply because I was sick of reading about Italy.
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I loved cooking like Mayes does. I don't like cooking. I'm not good at it. I see it as a chore. I am more than happy to have someone cook something for me than do it myself. I found that I was skipping the chapters that contained recipes. Perhaps I would also have enjoyed it more had I already visited Italy, and truly loved it.
Mayes is a fabulous writer- but I found that I just wasn't really interested in the topic.
I hardly ever say this, (does anyone, really?) but I liked the movie better. In the movie, Frances is newly divorced, and buys the house in Tuscany on a whim, and is by herself for much of the film. Slowly, she makes friends, learns the language, falls in love and gets her heart broken, and transforms the house. It keeps the soul of the book- so I'd actually recommend that instead.

PoMoLibrary Aug 19, 2015

From our 2015 #80DayRead Summer Reading Club traveler Nicole: Wow! What a detailed interesting novel about Italy and the very visual story of the family moving there and the renovation of their home.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 07, 2014

An American woman's enchanting account of her love affair with Italy and the home that changes her life. A sunny, mouth-watering memoir and a perfect read for damp grey Vancouver days.

a
alistraka
Aug 06, 2012

Nothing, absolutely NOTHING like the movie - which was rather disappointing since the movie had a fun plot and this book has practically NO plot whatsoever. Well-written, nice to read as fantasy-travel escapism, but there's not much story here. It's more like a journal, as a personal reviewer said.

g
gigglespisano
Sep 14, 2011

I sooo loved this great read and highly recommend it. it was like I was in her place and would actually want to visit the places she wrote about..no kidding!

l
LDPBLM
Jul 28, 2011

Frances Mayes - what a gifted writer ! However , her tack at the end of Tuscan Sun was odd - I preferred "Bella Tuscany " , overall .

Superv Jul 24, 2011

I read the book after I'd seen the movie, and actually for once, thought the movie did a better job. This book is best read as a travel journal than a novel, with a lot of recipes for the reader to follow.

ehbooklover Apr 10, 2011

I really wanted to like this book. The descriptions of the people, scenery, and food of Italy were enough to keep me reading the book but overall I found the author pretentious and condescending. A disappointing read.

s
snowish
Nov 20, 2010

Wide-eyed delight about all things Italian. Too many pieces about cooking; reads like a cookbook at times. I tried hard but couldn't finish this book.

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