Published in: 1996
Edition read: E-Book
Frances Mayes—widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion.
Well… I made the classic error of seeing the movie before reading the book, so I came into this book thinking “I wonder when she runs off with that random hot guy like in the book… where’s the tour group that leads to her finding Bramasole?” etc.
This book has nothing of the movie in it, not really. The movie is inspired by the book, but the circumstances of the movie are mostly fictional, made up for entertainment purposes, where as the book is more of a description of France’s years in Tuscany. So…. yeah. It’s nothing like the movie. Shame, as I love the movie.
The book isn’t bad. There are recipes (I love free recipes!), there are a lot of fascinating descriptions of the Tuscan country side and the renovating of an abandoned villa in the region, it’s quite entertaining to read. It’s just not really a story, like I had expected. It’s more of a ‘here is how I did this thing, you too can do it if you do this and this is what you might experience if you do’.
I kinda wanna go watch the movie now. I really preferred the movie. It’s a sad day when I prefer the movie over the book.
Under the Tuscan Sun rating: 6/10. Interesting, but it wasn’t enough to keep me all that entertained. It took me over a month to read this, and most of that was while at work, reading a few pages here and there and wondering why it was taking so long to get through the book.
Would I re-read it? Hmm… maybe. It’s not high on my re-read pile, I can tell you that. I think that perhaps if I was travelling around Tuscany, in the Summer, this might be a good book to read again… but the likelihood of that happening is low.
Who would I recommend it to? Well, not fans of the movie. The movie is nothing like the book! I do think it’s something that would interest people who are interested in renovating old places, who are interested in maybe living in a foreign country, people interested in anything Italian or of the Tuscan region. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book, it’s actually quite interesting. It just didn’t float my boat as much as I thought it would.
Author’s website: http://www.francesmayesbooks.com/under-the-tuscan-sun/