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Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Frances Mayes
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Mar 2010
In this sequel to her New York Times bestsellers Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany, the celebrated "bard of Tuscany" (New York Times) lyrically chronicles her continuing, two decades-long love affair with Tuscany's people, art, cuisine, and lifestyle.
Frances Mayes offers her readers a deeply personal memoir of her present-day life in Tuscany, encompassing both the changes she has experienced since Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany appeared, and sensuous, evocative reflections on the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. Among the themes Mayes explores are how her experience of Tuscany dramatically expanded when she renovated and became a part-time resident of a 13th century house with a stone roof in the mountains above Cortona, how life in the mountains introduced her to a "wilder" side of Tuscany--and with it a lively  engagement with Tuscany's mountain people. Throughout, she reveals the concrete joys of life in her adopted hill town, with particular attention to life in the piazza, the art of Luca Signorelli (Renaissance painter from Cortona), and the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden.  Moving always toward a deeper engagement, Mayes writes of Tuscan icons that have become for her storehouses of memory, of crucible moments from which bigger ideas emerged, and of the writing life she has enjoyed in the room where Under the Tuscan Sun began.
With more on the pleasures of life at Bramasole, the delights and challenges of living in Italy day-to-day and favorite recipes, Every Day in Tuscany is a passionate and inviting account of the richness and complexity of Italian life.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (9 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307702960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307702968
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 13.6 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,267,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is 20 years since American author Mayes purchased her dilapidated villa Bramasole, 15 years since the publication of her first book "Under the Tuscan Sun" which recounts the purchase of Bramasole. This book, her third memoir, finds Mayes the owner of two Tuscan villas and a historic farmhouse in North Carolina, where she lives in the winter months. She and Ed are now married, and have a young grandson. Reading this review, you may ask, who's Ed? What is Bramasole? If you're wondering this, then I would advise you go back and read "Under the Tuscan Sun" before you read this book. In my opinion, this was Mayes' finest book and I envy anyone who is about to read it for the first time. It is beautifully written, all about Mayes first years living part-time in Tuscany, taking a risk to purchase an old villa with 5 acres of land, the pleasures of living a new life in a foreign country after a painful divorce. "Seasons of an Italian Life" will have much more meaning if you have read this book first.

"Seasons of an Italian Life" is a collection of Mayes' introspections on her Tuscan life, her friends (she has a lot of them), the places she visits. There is a chapter on an unsettling event which causes her to re-evaluate her future in Tuscany. She writes of another rural property she has purchased nearby, and the careful renovations. (Oddly she lives in both of her houses at the same time, flitting between the two). As in her other books, the prose is luscious, her love of Tuscany shining through. However, I only gave 4 stars, as I felt at times the book was a little disjointed, almost like diary entries.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can You Feel the Magic? 5 Mar 2010
There's something about Italy that evokes poetic adjectives in anyone trying to capture its essence in prose. Blush-worthy effusions, which seem obligatory to the country's foreign inhabitants, are symptomatic of the Italian disease, which, once it strikes, is not only virulent but also incurable.

In Ms. Mayes, I detect a fellow chronic sufferer, and as such, I feel for one whose clouds are "flocculent," whose "topiary trees" are "wise," whose hot chocolate is "creamy and unctuous," whose cypresses are "dark-hearted," to give but a few examples. Having absorbed the magic, the author is endeavouring to convey it to her readers, who, unless they themselves have experienced Italy on a long-term basis, will probably not only fail to perceive the enchantment, but will also be immune to it. They may well dismiss such fulsome prose (as heartfelt as it might be) as either overblown or pretentious.

Of course, I'm jealous! I would give anything to be "waking with the splendiferous Tuscan dawns, listening to the bees mining the linden, lying in the grass at night watching the falling stars" (p. 99) instead of waking in the smog-choked Land of Malls, where the bees have vanished and honey is to be found only on the shelves of pricey supermarkets, and the light pollution is so severe that all the stars (except the three bright ones in Orion's belt) seem to have fallen already.

Bottom line: If your lodestar blazes over Italy, buy this book--especially if you are fascinated by lengthy descriptions of the renaissance paintings and frescos of Luca Signorelli (which, if you are unfamiliar with them, you can view on Google Images), and if you enjoy philosophical epigrams such as "Time, the big breadbasket we fill, raid, fill, and empty" (62).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tuscany redux 1 April 2010
By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER

Have you ever looked forward to a dinner, a party, an event with so much eager anticipation that the reality could not possibly match your expectations? That's descriptive of the situation I found myself in when awaiting the arrival of Frances Mayes's latest EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY.

I am a huge fan of Mayes's work, totally bewitched by UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN and others, so in all fairness it may be that nothing she wrote could possibly enchant me as much as her previous work. As always, her prose is poetic, beautifully wrought, and her powers of description undiminished. EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY is surely a pleasure, but for this reader simply not as exciting, as exhilarating as the others. Wonder if after almost two decades spent in Italy the subhject is not as intoxicating for her either. Mayes's narrative tends to be a bit rambling, disjointed reminiscences of time spent in Tuscany and environs. More introspective, at times very much a diary filled with random thoughts.

One would have to share her passion for tracking the works of the artist Luca Signorelli throughout Italy or find interesting her remembrance s of a Southern childhood. Having said all of that the narrative is, of course, pure unadulterated Mayes who often weaves a spell with words, allowing us to smell the bubbling tomato sauce, taste the "creamy and unctuous" hot chocolate, and experience Cortona where "the rhythms of the piazza are an ancient folk dance." So, indeed, there is much to enjoy in EVERY DAY IN TUSCANY.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars True Italian Life
Once again Frances Mayes relates the friendships she and Ed have formed in Italy, with neighboring Italians and expats alike. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary Land
3.0 out of 5 stars A meandering view of life in Tuscany...part poetry, part guidebook,...
Frances Mayes "Every Day in Tuscany" combines several different genres: memoir, guidebook, cookbook, poetry. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bundtlust
1.0 out of 5 stars Wear a hat when you go out under the Tuscan sun
There are readers who can't get enough of Frances Mayes - I'm not one of them. However, hope springs eternal and I bought this book hoping that her style had improved and that I... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Book Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Every day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian life
This book was very repetitive and was hard going to read. Very disappointing content, the authoress seems to have exhausted her subject! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mrs G
5.0 out of 5 stars Francis at her best.
Her books just enrich your life when you read them,it makes you want to go to tuscany and experiance all the food and scenery she describes.
Published 15 months ago by mandy meza
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing update to life at Bramasole by Frances Mayes
Enjoyable update to lovers of Frances Mayes' Bramasole home in Italy. Interesting to art lovers; incorporates
guide to artists and places to visit making this a useful travel... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Brenda Marsh
3.0 out of 5 stars Every day in Tuscany
As an avid fan of Frances Mayes' two earlier books, Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany, I was delighted to find this one had now been produced. Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2012 by Gillbee
5.0 out of 5 stars Tuscan Sun
I thoroughly enjoyed 'Everday in Tuscany' as I have enjoyed all Frances Mayes' books. I am normally not a fan of American authors but I make an exception in her case, though she... Read more
Published on 8 Aug 2011 by franny
1.0 out of 5 stars Never read anything so shallow and patronizing!!
I have read all of Frances Mayes' books and none of them has ever managed to impress me apart from her "patronizing" attitude towards local people and the sense of superiority she... Read more
Published on 23 May 2011 by M. Scaramucci
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Day in Tuscany
'Under The Tuscan Sun' and 'Bella Tuscany' by the same author set the scene for this book where once again the reader can, for a brief spell, enjoy the delights of Bramasole and... Read more
Published on 19 Dec 2010 by Janie
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