Perhaps this book is a little generic but since it's in a genre I've never read I enjoyed it. It's an account of the author's first year in the Italian province of Liguria. She goes out there from England with her sister in order to work for a while and ends up buying a tumbledown cottage in a hillside olive grove and staying where no decent Italian would dream of living at the time. The book's honest about the fact that it's not all happening in one year; mostly it's the first year they are the...more
This is the story of Annie and Lucy Hawes, twenty-somethings from Britain who go to Italy for a 10-week agricultural job in a village. When they find out that a charming “rustico” they’ve admired from afar is for sale at a price that wouldn’t purchase a yard of British soil, they buy it. Over the following month...more
Living part-time in SW France we smiled at the similarities between the rural traditions, behaviours and beliefs of Southern Europe. A simple change of names and expletives and this could have been a rural French village. An easy enjoyable read.
On the flip side the structure of the novel was odd; starting...more
The beginning of the book shows Annie Hawes and her sister being swept along by the customs of daily Ligurian life. They bumble around amiably, and before long, they find themselves buying a broken-down house.
The book starts to get interesting once the women are settled in the house and begin to cultivate relationships with the townspeople, Ligurian pe...more
Too bad about the title - it’s not even cheeky, just BAD! Luckily it’s the worst part of the book. You want the author as your pal for sure: she’s ballsy and hilarious and smart. She gives really earthy and lively descriptions of how she set up a home as a foreigner in a land where foreigner can mean from the next village over, let alone Milan, Sicily (gasp!), or England. There is no plot per se, but it’s a nice collection of stories, perfect for when you have the flu or are due for a l...more
I loved the characters and the setting, the descriptions of village life and the insight into the culture. However this is a book to be dipped in and out of...read it for book group so time pressure to get it finished. It's a diary/blog of the authors time in Italy so no particular plot or twists to keep you gripped. Strangely at the end I found out there was a follow on and felt drawn to buy it.....not done so yet but watch this space.....
Overall a pleasant book that made me feel I was in Ital...more