Always looking for a way to create interest in reading and challenging my book club, I suggested that for our summer read we make it a book that would take us traveling. Each reader gets to choose their own whether it be a novel or a travel memoir as long as it takes place outside the USA. Since we are planning a trip that starts in the Tuscan area of Italy, I decided to choose Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes.
You may remember the movie in 2003. It was based on Mayes' book from 1996. The book is about her experience in buying a home in Italy and renovating it then using it as home base to explore the country and experience the culture. The home is near Cortona, a little town in the Tuscan countryside. Mayes includes almost poetic descriptions of the home and the landscape of the area where it is located. She is enamored with the food especially what is produced in the area and used creatively in culinary delights. Many of the recipes are included in the book.
What I didn't realize when I downloaded the ebook was that this edition was revised and included her observations on the movie that was made from her memoir. The movie is a bit different in that the Mayes character played by Diane Lane is a recent divorcee who is escaping to start a new life in the Italian home she has bought. Many of the experiences she has with the contractors are based on the real life situations in the Mayes book. It parts company when the movie character takes on an Italian lover although Mayes says that might have been interesting but her husband, Ed, would probably have objected.
I enjoyed the read and the comparison to the movie. Neither is better than the other. They stand alone and are both good. Guess it's time to revisit the movie before we go especially now that I know it was shot in the same area and according to Mayes the movie home is very similar to hers. After that it's on to Tuscany!