Review: Under the Tuscan Sun
After getting a divorce, Frances Mayes found herself with a full time teaching position, a grown daughter, a small nest egg and a longing to discover life in another culture. She and Ed, her new partner, decided to take the plunge and buy a house in a rural area of Italy. The house needed a lot of work and the renovation process didn’t always go smoothly. That never dampened the enthusiasm of Frances or Ed – they share a love of Italy and their summer home.
Frances Mayes recalls their experience in purchasing and renovating their Italian home, Bramasole, in the beautifully written book, Under the Tuscan Sun. She equates the renovation process to childbirth – painful to go through, but quickly forgotten. Her love of the country is evident and her passion made me long to take such an adventure. Mayes makes it all sound so romantic and endearing and her positive attitude is a joy – somehow I know I wouldn’t face the challenges of renovation in another country with quite the same delight.
I listened to the audio version of Under the Tuscan Sun, which is read by the author. I did enjoy it, but don’t think she was the best choice to read the book – I found her reading to be flat and monotonous and did have to replay a track or two when my mind wandered. (By the way, Frances and Ed just celebrated 20 years of owning Bramasole.) Even so, I longed to go to Italy when I was through listening to the book. I’d like to see the movie version now, but from this trailer, I can see that it deviates from the book quite a bit: