Why is Jowita Bydlowska's book such a compulsive and compelling read, one that's hard to put down? I think it's because there are absolutely no distra...moreWhy is Jowita Bydlowska's book such a compulsive and compelling read, one that's hard to put down? I think it's because there are absolutely no distractions, no descriptions, not much background information, no lengthy explanations (except for a brief Archeology chapter) no theory, no psychology and no advice. It's like she says - "this is no self help book". The author sticks to raw facts and with tremendous focus and gripping immediacy, takes us through the several months of a life of a drunk, totally exposing the addict's mind. It's like she is aware that only through complete exposure, through striping of all the lies, she, we, anybody, can become liberated and gain strength and courage to live the life. Even though it might be a temporary strengh, a temporary courage, it's worth to get access to it and her book recalls her way of getting there. I also think that the act of exposing lies, makes it a universally appealing read. Not all of us are drunks, addicts, but among our lot, arent we a lot of harmful things? Don't we all have secret lies we'd rather not face, if only very tiny ones, very ocassionally? I am sure we can use the honesty in this exposé of the workings of the mind.
I also congratulate the author in creating an incredibly strong literary voice as the result of the process she had a courage to go through.
I hope this book gets translated into many languages, including Jowita's and mine.(less)
The title and the cover suggested a more fluffy, chicklit like title than it is. Amaretti are Italian macaroons, sweet little nothings to nibble on. T...moreThe title and the cover suggested a more fluffy, chicklit like title than it is. Amaretti are Italian macaroons, sweet little nothings to nibble on. To me however there is an equal measure of bitterness to the sweetness in the book. It's more Amore and Amaro. We are offered a journey into the inside life of restaurant workers through the Australian author's various stints in Italy's restaurants over her lifetime. Yes, there is a lot of beautiful food, great recipes, yes there are love affairs as well. There is beautiful Italy and memorable characters. But to me it is a book about Victoria's blues. It feels as if she suffers from depression and cannot quite climb out of it. Victoria's repeated travels to Italy, the country she got tied to from the first time she went there as a student, seem to be an attempt to reach out, to connect with purpose, with people, with life. The people Victoria meets also struggle and are also imperfect. There is an underlying suffering and inability to cut through it, and this is what makes the story very poignant. This is such a different book in tone that previously read by me As the Romans Do. As I immerse myself in books on Italy this one makes me more aware that all the different offerings by various authors are in the end their very personal experience, the portrayals of their inner state and how it relates to the country they are in. I meet different Italy each time I read a new book. When I go there it will be yet another Italy I will see, filtered through my own mind and my own senses. In the meantime I am having a great time enjoying my various vicarious experiences.(less)