summers. Now the blue book has become Under the. Tuscan Sun, a natural outgrowth of my first pleasures here. Restoring, then improving, the house;. Praise. A New York Times Notable Book of “This beautifully written memoir about taking chances, living in Italy. loving a house and, always, the pleasures. "What are you growing here?" is the first line of Under the Tuscan Sun. In what ways does that question symbolize how the book came about? What does it say.
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cover image of Under the Tuscan Sun of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Editorial Reviews. terney.info Review. In this memoir of her downloading, renovating, and living in Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download. Under the Tuscan Sun book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. An enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions.
I had some friends come to vi I need to preface this by saying that had this book been anything less than a monster success I wouldn't trash it. I had some friends come to visit me here in Spain and one of them was reading this book. I had read it before and thought very little of it. As I am now in the middle of editing my own travel book about Spain I practically yanked this away from them to reread. I have to say that my first impression of Under the Tuscan Sun was accurate. As I edit my book about life in Spain I am a little worried about what I feel to be a lack of structure and focus in what I have written.
After rereading this book my work seems like a textbook example of structure. She just seems to comment randomly about her rather privileged life in Italy. This book should serve as how not to write. It's truly ghastly writing at every step without a hint of insight to be found anywhere. This thing is like The Da Vinci Code of travel memoirs, or whatever the hell you want to call it.
She is not as clumsy a writer as Dan Brown; I refer more to the immense popularity of this book. I suppose that this is how the publishing industry works. They would much rather force one book down our collective throats than to print and market a series of books better suited for a range of tastes. I guess they find this sort of book to be inoffensive enough to cover a wide range of readers who are looking for a book about living in Italy.
A more interesting take on this subject would be a lot riskier. The only time you should use a foreign word is when there is no English equivalent and even then only sparingly.
Both worked hard, along with Italian craftsmen, renovating the house in Tuscany during their summer and mid-winter breaks. They fell in love with the Italian culture, pace of life, and food. The sense of time is so different in Tuscany with their villa surrounded by fascinating things from ancient times--an Etruscan wall, a Roman road, old churches, and a nearby Medici fortress.
The walls of the old villa were thick slabs covered with plaster. Various owners had added on more rooms over the years so it was always a surprise to see what was under the last coat of plaster. The Tuscan food is simple, fresh, and picked when perfectly ripe.
Mayes' descriptions of the food and wine are sensuous, and she included a few recipes. Her tables are often topped with fresh flowers from the many gardens they planted. I enjoyed the book, but wished I had spread the reading out more instead of reading it over three days since there is so much description. The mood of the book is upbeat, joyous, and often humorous. The Tuscan sun has definitely warmed up Mayes' life.
View 2 comments. I first heard about this story when the film version was being hyped. For some reason I never bothered to view it, perhaps because it appeared amidst other seemingly trite films that did not interest me. However I found this copy in the used library bookstore and from the inside cover description I realized that it's subject matter greatly interested me. Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun, At Home in Italy is her personal account of a life shifting and settling in the landscape of the Italian c I first heard about this story when the film version was being hyped.
Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun, At Home in Italy is her personal account of a life shifting and settling in the landscape of the Italian countryside.
But it is more than a merely picturesque recounting of her experiences, her story has many layers that together recall that sense of nostalgia that can only be found in the true sweetness of memory. The smells and sounds that create that subtle ache for the events and experiences that in remembering achieve their deepest meaning.
Her life undone becomes her greatest practice of living in the now. It gives me joy to accompany her on this path through her own poetic journaling and to read beneath and in between her words the discovery of a life deconstructed along with her old farmhouse which like her is being reborn through years of neglect. May she and all of us continue to learn to live creating the lives we desire with plenty of local grown food, wine and personal harvest! Aug 08, Kay rated it liked it Shelves: The movie made her far more interesting than the book did.
Movie version: The trip is to help Mayes recover from the divorce. She falls in love with the country, finding magic in unexpected places and downloads a villa. In restoring it, she learns to love herself again, as she learns Italian ways of living. Book version: They are utterly ignorant about restoring an old house.
Hijinks ensue. They're only there in the summers. Seriously, which would you pick? There are interesting parts about local Italian history and the occasional magic moment, but mostly it's a "look at how cool my normative life is, aren't you jealous?
Be aware that the three star rating is because Mayes is a competent writer who occasionally includes some really beautiful prose. What this rating is NOT based on is an engaging story. But I can't fault her competency in her craft. If you liked Eat Pray Love, you may also like this one.
I believe the reverse is also true. Jan 22, Bam rated it really liked it Shelves: I am surprised by how many bad reviews this book has received here on goodreads. Yes, the movie version is very loosely based on this book, so don't come looking for that story here. And yes, it is a memoir and not a novel. And yes, Mayes is a privileged woman who has earned the ability to download a decrepit villa in Tuscany as a second home, renovate it and furnish it.
Who hasn't dreamed of doing just that? I thoroughly enjoyed her descriptions of the renovation process, the land, the people, t I am surprised by how many bad reviews this book has received here on goodreads. I thoroughly enjoyed her descriptions of the renovation process, the land, the people, the ancient history of the area and oh, the food!
Thank goodness she has included a few recipes to try. While i thoroughly enjoyed the book, i WILL say that its not what i expected since i had seen and enjoyed the movie first. I guess i was slightly disappointed in 2 things: Author summers in Tuscany, downloads an old farmhouse, refurbishes it, travels through Italy, and cooks constantly. Then, when you finish it, flip the pages back and start the article again.
But substitute the Zuppa Toscana with Porcini Risotto. The Pesto Crostini for the Fontina Bruschetta.
A Plot: A full-bodied Montepulciano for the earthy Sangiovese. And keep reading. Over and over again. It's hard to read a page book that has no plot. It's just hard to keep opening it up on the bus everyday.
Each passage is very interesting, but a travel article - which is what it is - can only sustain a reader for so long, even when done well. This book makes me want to visit Italy Oh!
It makes me want to slowly sip a glass of Brunello di Montalcino in the fading evening sun. Essentially, it makes me want do something other than continue reading.
It makes me want to be somewhere else: Somewhere sunnier, where the cheese is richer, the vino is bolder, the afternoons are slower, and the magic of human civilization is much much older and wiser. I have the thrill of giving this book the most unforgettable and interesting bad review I've given so far. This was a re-read, and I loved it again. I know there's plenty here who don't think much of this book, but it totally appeals to my utterly romantic notions of running away to live in Europe someday And my list TBV list - "to be visited" - tee hee has been growing ever since.
This was also my first PalmPilot read, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I compl This was a re-read, and I loved it again.
This was also my first PalmPilot read, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I completely enjoyed reading on my teensy little baby computer.
I wonder if we will ever reach that vision of the paperless society that was touted when the first home computers came out way back when. Could the Palm Pilot finally represent the beginning of the end of cutting down massive tracts of forests to support our voracious appetite for the printed word. I particularly found the PP nice for reading in bed. Lightweight, clear easy-to-read font, easy thumb clicks to turn the pages, and complete with its own light.
Very cool. Donna's a happy PalmPilot reader. Jan 02, Antof9 rated it it was ok Shelves: I saw the movie first and didn't realize it was based on a book. So first of all, this is not a novel.
It's a woman's journal of the download and clean up of an old house in Tuscany. It includes recipes, gardening directions, weather reports, menus, etc. And if that's what you were expecting, it's actually very good.
However, I unfortunately saw the movie when it came out, in complete ignorance that it was a book first. I'd already read Extra Virgin , and felt that this book was a weak imitation. Had I not known the movie or the other book, I think I'd have liked this better.
And I'd strongly recommend it to anyone travelling there or moving there. Her descriptions of food were amazing! I especially liked the way she described menus, and how they ate what was in season and accessible.
It made me crave cheese and fruit! Jul 19, Ivana Books Are Magic rated it liked it. Having read Under the Tuscan Sun, I can certainly see what the hype was about. It is an interesting little book, not a novel exactly, more a sort of a diary of a divorced woman who decided to download a house in Tuscany and documents her experiences. Her narrative voice is friendly and charming, and yet despite revealing some information about her private life, she never lets the reader in too close.
Under the Tuscan Sun is not an autobiographical novel, so don't expect someone pouring their heart op Having read Under the Tuscan Sun, I can certainly see what the hype was about. Under the Tuscan Sun is not an autobiographical novel, so don't expect someone pouring their heart open to you sort of read.
This book is a pretty light read, albeit packed with some interesting information. At no point does the narrative question the meaning of life, nor does it go into lengthily discussions. It's more a collection of author's thoughts and impressions, all bound together by her decision to download a house in Italy.
The book often functions as a reconstruction and food journal. Who is the protagonist? She is a divorced University professor, and her summers are free. She decides that the perfect thing do to is to spend them in Italy.
Why not download a house there and really immerse herself in the experience? She is drawn to one particular house and area. Her partner Ed also has his summers off I think he is a teacher as well. Together they set on an adventure of restoring the old villa and spending their summers in Italy. Under the Tuscan Sun is a lovely book written by an intelligent lady. It has a lot going in for it, and could easily be called a nice summer read.
However, it is neither a meaningful nor a memorable book. It doesn't talk about any subject in detail, and often it feels like a collection of notes. At times, it is also a bit repetitive and predictable. I had a feeling that the author was almost pushing this idea about her great adventure- but really is downloading a house in Italy really that revolutionary?
I could sympathize with her as she recounted her 'construction problems' as I moved in my new home only a year ago, but after a while all that reconstruction talk got a bit old. Under the Tuscan Sun has some minor faults, the book isn't paced all that great, and there were some boring parts, but altogether I can say I enjoyed reading it. Reading her impressions about Italy was interesting, as she is someone coming from a different culture and continent.
As fun a read as it often was, as soon as I have finished the last page, I knew it is a book I will easily forget. Honestly, I don't think I would have missed much if I haven't read it. It's a nice book, I could feel the author's passion about finding 'new life' and trying something different, but in the end it's just not a book that will stay with me. Feb 26, mossum rated it did not like it Shelves: I so rarely stop reading mid-book, but I found this one to be so rambling and uninteresting and I'm at a point in life where I feel no obligation to push through such an experience, even or especially to please someone who thought for sure they knew what I'd like.
The prospect of downloading a shambles of a house, no matter where, and restoring it, is a subject that is of tremendous interest to me. Although I'm not "traveled," I can well image that the effort of obtaining a passport, packing, and f I so rarely stop reading mid-book, but I found this one to be so rambling and uninteresting and I'm at a point in life where I feel no obligation to push through such an experience, even or especially to please someone who thought for sure they knew what I'd like.
Although I'm not "traveled," I can well image that the effort of obtaining a passport, packing, and flying to the other side of the globe would be well worth it if one could download and restore a home in the hills of Tuscany.
I can even appreciate the detailed imagery a good author can summon with romantic descriptions of local flora, cuisine, and ancillary characters.
Unfortunately, Mayes was unable or unwilling to craft such an exciting, titillating, adventurous memoir, and instead presents the minutiae of her adventure with over-descriptive drudgery. I found her writing to be less interesting than the plant descriptions on my Sunset Garden Book.
Apr 22, Tamara rated it did not like it Recommended to Tamara by: Conifer book friends, I think? This is the epitome of nauseating travelogues. This woman thinks she is Italian because she renovated and lived in a small property in Tuscany??? And she is clearly so much smarter, knows better, and has more experience in everything not JUST renovating and living in a small house in Tuscany than anyone else on earth because she renovated and lived in a small house in Tuscany.
Dec 15, Foteini Fp rated it liked it. Oct 06, Tarah rated it liked it. Here's the thing. I loved this book when I first read it was I 20? Because I was young, and hadn't learned how to resent those people who gallivant around the globe with too much money on their hands telling us how charmed their lives are while describing the picturesque landscape. That being said, the book is well-written and the descriptions of Tuscan life are, of course, deeply seductive.
Because that's the point: But reading this again while wrapped in the cynicism of my 30s, I just can't get excited about it. Again, the genre of memoir is partly to blame. But more than anything, I'm just supremely uninterested in reading about how fantastic, and rustic, and beautiful your life is. I'm giving it three stars not because I like it, as I'm not sure I do at this point, but because it is beautiful.
How much of that is really just the landscape, I wonder. May 09, Aisling rated it really liked it. I think I'm being a little harsh by giving this only 4 stars Mayes style works well with the bulk of the book but there are too many wandering offs to make it a true 5 star book. It just did not hang together. I really enjoyed it, though. I just had to pick it up and put it dow I think I'm being a little harsh by giving this only 4 stars I just had to pick it up and put it down when she kept shifting styles and goals.
And ok it was marketed as a memoir and I generally need to avoid them. But there is much to be greatly enjoyed in this book. Just don't expect it to be anything like the movie--the movie is very, very loosely based on the book. This is a terrific read for the arm chair traveler or anyone who has wanderlust and needs a little motivation to go and do. Oct 18, Marjorie rated it really liked it. I think if you prayed to him, he will help you find someone to cook for.
Thank you, Signor Martini. I realized I already had someone to cook for. Plenty of someones. Italian is easy. Have you talked to her yet? I have talked to her. Why don't you go sit next to her? Go on. Come up! I'm having my portrait painted. Come through. I'm in here. You don't bother me. Frances, this is Zeus.
He's an art student from Macedonia. He's staying with me while he's studying the Tuscan light. More vino, darling. He's not bad. He's not good, either. Look, I'm going to go, but I'll come back another time. Oh, you're so boring! I said you're boring.
Look at you! You're sad. You're like a big black hole. Excuse me, but I Fefe always said, "Regrets are a waste of time. They're the past crippling you in the present. How are you ever going to be happy if you keep wallowing? Listen, when I was a little girl, I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I'd just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me. So go work on your house and forget about it.
I said go! I'm going! Work on the house and forget about it. Gee, why hadn't I thought of that? There comes a time in every remodeler's life when one doesn't want any more helpful advice. There comes a time when you no longer want shaky guys staring at you thinking God knows what, whispering things in Polish you're really glad you don't understand. There you are. I've been looking for you. You said you were gonna meet me. I've been looking for you for minutes.
Mi scusi. You just kissed me and you're going? I'm sorry? I've already found somebody else. My loss. I was wondering if you'd help me. I'm trying to find an antique store that sells replacement parts for a chandelier. Via di La Casanova. Ah, Via di La Casanova. But I know where there is another store. Is it far? About three hours. Two if I drive fast. Two hours? One if I drive really, really, really fast.
That's very nice, but thank you. I know you think maybe I'm just trying to pull you up. Pull me up?
Pick me up. There is that chance. But you are the one who grabbed me and pretend I'm your husband. You're probably one of those crazy American women like "Charlie's Angels," and you are going to kung-fu me and steal my car. But I'm willing to take the chance. You're willing? What is your name?
Of course it is. Green light. Avanti, avanti. And what about red lights? Just a suggestion. You're crazy. Thanks a lot.
He doesn't have it. Why am I not surprised? Only two? Then get another one. Give me a kiss first. Maria, get her an ice cream. Nice and big. This is your bar? We are a family. I work here. And I sleep there. Above my cousin's antique store. We made this. And you put the skin of the lemon in the bottle, and you leave it until it's dried color. And I forget the rest. But just try it. You got your ice cream. My nephew. Well, hello. He says, "Take me home with you.
Ciao, piccolo, Ciao. Didn't you have plans today? Didn't you have something you had to do? So what? If you smash into something good, you should hold on until it's time to let go. And now is not the time. Not in my opinion. You have beautiful eyes, Francesca.
I wish I could swim inside them. It's just that's exactly what American women think Italian men say. I guess. Marcello, I'm sorry. I'm really nervous, you know. I was married for a long time. And since then, there hasn't been anybody. Would you like to help me change that?
You are asking me to sleep with you? That is exactly the kind of thing we Italian men think American women say. You honor me with your offer. I'm going to make love all over you. Che bella spalla. And what do you call this? La gola. And this? II capezzolo. Il capezzolo. At least for the next minutes. Me too. It's terrible that you bought that villa in Cortona. Because it's not in Positano, and I am. You have to promise to come back here.
Promise me. Can you come this weekend? I think so. You think so? I knew it, I knew it, I knew it Whoo! I still got it. I still got it! Thank God! Do I still look sad to you? Ladybugs, Katherine.
Lots and lots of ladybugs. When do you see him again? I would have told you I was coming, but you would have talked me out of flying. Oh, look at you! God damn it, Frances. I gotta go pee! You must be so exhausted. See this? Tell me there's a baby in there. Big old baby in there. Right now. I'm with you.
Oh, jeez. So, what's it like having one of these in Cortona? I hear the town midwife's good. She puts a knife under the bed to cut the pain. Florence is an hour away.
You're gonna deliver this baby in a hospital gown designed by Armani. She ran out on me. She said she realized she didn't want to be a mother after all. How do you do it? How do you ever breathe again? Pretty soon. God, I missed you. How about next weekend?
Okay, well how about the one after that? No, of course, I understand. I won't forget you. I think a lot about you, too. Well, until then. There's something strange about these trees. It's like they know. And they know that we know that they know. They're creepy. Creepy Italian trees.
The baby's gonna like them 'cause it's gonna be a creepy Italian baby who goes around saying, "Ciao, Mamma, " and doing that backward hand-wave thing. Life is strange. Where were you going when I arrived? Nowhere important. What's he like? He's a creepy Italian. I want to spend time with my creepy American friend.
I refuse to screw up your love life. Don't be ridiculous, Patti. You are my love life. There's hot water in the toilet bowl. They must have crossed a pipe somewhere. Oh, this is really bad, isn't it? Well, it's not good, unless you want to give your ass a facial. That's a contradiction in terms. I guess it'd be more of an ass-cial. Go, go, go. He's sorry. We have nowhere else to be together. What does that make me? Saint Francesca, patron saint of horny teenagers? Pawel, you were doing it in my bed.
I don't even do it in my bed. Please, Francesca, help us. My father don't let us see each other. Maybe he thinks you're young and shouldn't be It's because I'm Polish. It will be terrible if we are not together. Did she say you were going to assassinate somebody?
No, she misunderstand. I didn't say Amore, I didn't say, "assassino. I didn't understand. You barely understand what the other is saying. We are in love. And I go with him this weekend.
To the flag-throwing festival.
I am going to throw the flag. Throw the flag. Because I can do it as good as any Italian man. That's why. And her father will see. My daughter says you are taking her to the festa in Montepulciano. This is true? Just a moment, please. I told him you're taking me so he will stay home. I don't want to lie to your father. Come on, Frances. Who cares? If I am not with her, I will die of a broken heart. You won't die. Oh, there he is! These are straight men. In tights twirling flags. Oh, this is it!
He is fantastic! I throw the flag. Si, amore. They're fine. Let's go. What is it about love that makes us so stupid? Take the man with the flowers. Same deal every day. I mean, enough already. Why can he just let it go and get over it? Francesca, you see my daughter? She seems so different.
Maybe do you know what's bothering her? Placido, I don't know.
Hey, Frances, look. You can see Bramasole from here. It's Marcello! What's he doing? Don't go!
Where are you going? We tried you on your cell, but you were in a dead zone. I cannot believe you let him leave. He was nearby and thought he'd take a shot. He was very disappointed, okay? You've got a snail in your ear. Get it out! He left you a note. Hold still. He's going north for a couple of weeks. He had a dream about me in a white dress. A white dress? Holy shit! Damn it, Patti, why didn't you make him wait?
I mean, come on, You're a tough dyke. You could have tied him to a chair! You could have faked labor at least! I wouldn't have had to fake it. Ten toes.
What's her name, Mom? In Italian, the literal translation of "to give birth, " "dare alla luce, " is to give to the light. Welcome to the light. Hello, sweetheart. Hey, baby. Oh, you're so cute. You're so cute. We are finished. Come back soon. I'll cook for you. Pawel, you too? Chiara is waiting! Patti, you want to come with me to town? We could bring the baby. I could wait and take you back. Thanks, but I've got my boyfriend. Wait there, I'm coming down.
Look how beautiful you are. It's incredible to see you. Every time we made plans, it didn't happen. So this time, I thought I'll surprise you. I am surprised. What brings you to Positano?
What brings me to Positano? We're going to be late. One moment, darling. I'll be right there. I came at a bad time. Francesca, wait. I'm sorry you're hurt. But what did you expect? What did I expect? You came to Bramasole. You left that note. I thought that you Just a minute. Months ago, we had a beautiful affair. And if you think I wanted more of you after that, you're right. Because I did, of course. You're a fantastic woman, Francesca. But we were never able to come together again, even though we tried.
And this sort of thing must come naturally. I told you. There was my friend. She was going to have a baby. There were many, many other things. Important things you had to do. And you couldn't wait. Don't worry, Francesca. Don't worry.