Cheryl's Reviews > Greek Expectations: The Adventures of Fearless Fran in the Land of the Gods

Greek Expectations by Frances  Mayes
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Jun 20, 09

Read in June, 2009

This travel essay was not what I expected or hoped for. Written in colloquial British/Scottish English, the writing does not flow smoothly and made for a challenging read. The author has a "penchant" for "quotation marks" used frequently at "inappropriate" times, which furthered my frustration with the literary quality (or lack thereof) of this book.

Ostensibly a memoir of Frances Mayes' (not the same Frances Mayes of "Under the Tuscan Sun" fame) time living and teaching in Greece, the book gives glimpses of Greek life and culture, but the author relied heavily on Greek stereotypes in her portrayal, which I found distasteful. A quirky lady, the book gives more information about the author and her habits and likes than it does about life in Greece. During her years in Greece, she did not pick up much of the language, preferring to socialize mainly with the ex-expatriate community, another limitation to the portrayal of Greece.

As far as travel literature goes, this book doesn't hold a candle to most of the genre. It was definitely not the escape to Greece I was looking for, and I found the book difficult to get through. Not recommended, and now I will continue my search for a Greek travel book written in the tradition of author travel authors such as Peter Mayle, MFK Fisher, and even the "other" Frances Mayes.
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