A Southern woman who lives in San Francisco buys a house in the hills of Tuscany and learns about the culture, the food and the history of this section of Italy. Along the way she reflects on her childhood, her life and her family. As she discovers food and culture and people in Italy, she discovers about herself, her past.
This report prepared by Sal Weir
With this book in 1996, Frances Mayes did for north central Italy what Peter Mayle had done a few years before for Provence -- celebrated its beauty and cuisine for all the world to share. A poet and teacher of creative writing at San Francisco State, Mayes and her husband established a second home in Cortona, Tuscany. Mayes is a more elegant and regal writer than Mayle; her book tends to be more self-consciously beautiful and dwells on the beauty and food more than on eccentric locals and funny anecdotes (although there are some of those too). _Under the Tuscan Sun_ is a lovely book (perhaps a little too measured for the casual reader), rather than a charming one.
This report prepared by David Loftus