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on 13 February 2012
Another book by Frances Mayes, author of "Under the Tuscan Sun." In my opinion the cover of the book is a little misleading. I thought it would be a book on Tuscan interior design, but it only touches on the subject. I wasn't disappointed, as I love anything by Frances Mayes. So my advice would be:- buy this book if you enjoyed her memoirs and want to read more about her life in Tuscany, or you're a lover of the Tuscan lifestyle and want to escape for a few hours. Don't buy this book if you're redecorating your house and only want ideas on how to get the Tuscan look.

As with her other books, Mayes tells us a little about her life past and present in California, even including photos of her beautiful American house. She discusses how her life in the US has been influenced by her Mediterranean lifestyle. She must be a very busy lady, as she goes on to tell us how, while in Italy, she chanced upon an old ruin of a stone house when she was picking blackberries on the hill above her villa. One thing led to another, it was duly purchased and a lengthy, historical renovation ensued. Plenty of pictures of the exterior of this house (before and after), although I would have liked to have seen some photos of the interior.

A book by Mayes would not be complete without a few chapters on food. Her husband Ed even contributes, giving us lots of Italian recipes accompanied by plenty of photographs. There are sections on wine, olive oil, antique markets, and information on shipping goods to the US. And of course lots of little vignettes about Mayes charmed life, written in lyrical prose. This book lives on my coffee table and I dip into it when ever I need a little Tuscan sun in my life.
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VINE VOICEon 25 October 2009
One of the best books on Tuscany - written by someone who not only lives there, but also loves the place.
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