Jan 30, 10
Read in January, 2010
I would give this book 3 1/2 starts but I couldn't.
I really enjoyed going to Italy in this book and the writing was good and often funny. The message about American life is very accurate and a good reminder to slow down and get back to basics. Our lifestyle in this country can be downright destructive as we struggle to constantly keep up with the "shoulds" of our lives. Contrasted against the Italian culture, we have some work to do.
I didn't give the book a higher rating because there was something I couldn't get past. Maybe it was the SoCal stereotype of the writer (blond, materialistic, appearance oriented). She did grow while in Italy but I didn't feel like she grew that much. It was a sad goodbye to leave the country but even she implies that they stayed pretty insulated while they lived there. They had a few friends but they didn't do much to learn the language or really get into the culture and traditions. It bothered me for some reason and it flavored the book for me the whole way through.
Still, I would recommend it.
Also, the religious aspect was an important and critical aspect of her story. I liked that faith was pivotal to their success and in turning their marriage around. While not everyone can afford to live in Italy for a year, there are things people can take from the authors experience and apply to their lives wherever they are.