Carla's Reviews > Marcus of Umbria: What an Italian Dog Taught an American Girl about Love

Marcus of Umbria by Justine van der Leun
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's review
Jul 24, 2011

it was amazing
Read from July 24 to 29, 2011

I picked up this book because Ms. van der Leun graduated from the school where I teach (I remembered her and had also read some of her pieces in O Magazine) and I almost returned it to the library because my reasons for reading it were not pure. I am glad I read on because I really enjoyed this book. First, Ms. van der Leun is talented and engaging writer. Her story has a refreshing perspective. Critics on Goodreads said that she was self-absorbed and unlikeable as a character but what the heck! -- it's a MEMOIR, the author is supposed to be absorbed by her own experience at a very specific time in her life. I appreciated Ms. van der Leun's honesty (she is not without fault and peculiar motivation -- entirely human) and loved how she wove reflections about her past into her more contemporary story of living in a village in Umbria with a new love, limited (no?) prior knowledge of Italian and a paucity of wherewithal to trust herself in new and challenging environs. Her humor appears as she tries to navigate Italian country life, her boyfriend's tight-knit, extended and traditional Italian family and the language. I finished the book thoroughly satisfied and wanting to meet Marcus in person!

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy Hey Carla,

Save me that book so I can borrow it! Our family has our own Marco of Florence!


Carla Alas, it was a loaner from the library but you and Megan would probably get a kick out of van der Leun's take on living in Italy!

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