In the spirit of Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, an enchanting and lyrical look at the life, traditions and cuisine of Tuscany.
When she began restoreing an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside, Frances Mayes entered a wonderful new world. At every turn, there were unexpected ... treasures: faded frescos in her dining room beneath the whitewash, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and vibrant markets and delightful people in the nearby hill towns. In Under the Tuscan Sun, she brings a poet's lyrical voice, a seasoned traveler's eye, and a cook and food writer's discerning palate to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life, and to dine at her table.
Splendid to arrive alone in a foreign country and feel the assault of difference. Here they are all along, busy with living; they don't talk or look like me. The rhythm of their day is entirely different; I am foreign.
Like fanning through a deck of cards, my mind flashes on the thousand chances, trivial to profound, that converged to re-create this place. Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different. Where did the expression "a place in the sun" first come from? My rational thought process cling always to the idea of free will, random event; my blood, however, streams easily along a current of fate.
A beautifully written memoir that engages the reader in one’s renovation of life and relationships, Frances Mayes uses her memoir to show that life is not over for the older woman whose marriage has ended and who has a grown daughter.