The Lady In The Palazzo: At Home in Umbria Paperback – 6 Dec 2007
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De Blasi is more than a sunny regional food writer - she digs into the meaning of life (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)
De Blasi is a skilled, quirky writer; her prose is by turns reserved, rococo, earthy and, above all, fresh (KIRKUS REVIEWS)
A charming evocation of life in Umbria from the author of the bestselling memoir, A Thousand Days in Venice.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I have to say that had it not been a gift from someone whose judgement I respect, I probably would not have finished it. I had just read the deeply unsettling and sad "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and was dying for some light relief so this looked the perfect book to cheer me up. It's hard to say exactly what is wrong with it as all the ingredients seem to be there: a couple, in love, move to an idyllic Italian village with a cast of eccentric locals. As she gets to know them our "heroine" Chou, as she seems to be known, plans to have a large dinner party in the apartment they are moving in to (the ballroom of a converted palazzo) in order to bring together this disparate cast and heal ancient grievances. I won't spoil the ending, but according to one other reviewer who clearly knows the village of Orvieto, most of the story is "fantasy". Well, that's quite likely, after all what memoir/biography or piece of travel writing is pure truth and fact? Every writer embroiders things to make them more interesting for the reader. And one man's truth is another man's fiction, so to speak.
So, where does it go wrong? There is something horribly "precious" about de Blasi's writing style. It's overly long and overly ornate, and she has some annoying little habits such as referring to her husband as "the Venetian" (why not use his name?), and to another character as "Miranda-of-the-bosoms" which starts to irritate after a while.
Perhaps if I had read her earlier books first I would have enjoyed this more as some of these oddities were presumably explained in those. But I would not recommend you start with this one if you want to read Marlena de Blasi.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A really lovely book which evokes sights and smells and emotions if Italy.Published 3 months ago by P.M.N.
As always I love Marlena's books. It combined delicious recipes, food writing, travel writing and a glimpse into italian rural life. Loved it!Published on 5 Dec. 2013 by Cherrymay
The sample gripped my imagination with beautiful tales of Italian villages but then completely changed when you got into the book. Disappointed.Published on 22 May 2013 by paula shirley
Marlena takes us into the realms of the typical Italian business contract, where "Domani" is a favourite word of all participants - "Tomorrow" means anything from a few days to... Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2012 by MaggieP