Frances Mayes is a novelist and university professor. She earned her MA from San Francisco State University. This is where Frances taught and eventually became the chair of the Department of Creative Writing.
In 1996, Frances published the book, Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy. This book followed Frances as she purchased a Tuscan home, remodeled it and started her love affair with Italy.
In 2003, there was a film released under the same name. Diane Lane played the lead character, and I thought it sucked. Sorry Frances... but it did. It wasn't even really based on the book.
Frances has devoted her writing skills to many other fine projects. Her latest memoir is Every Day in Tuscany, which was released in March of this year.
Frances possesses the unique ability to describe the minute passing of life with great detail. This is partly from her experiences in Tuscany.
With this brief introductory of the author....let's begin with the book.
The books begins with a preface by Frances. She talks about living "La Dolce Vita" (living the good life). I try to make that my motto for living as well. In Italy, the good life provides fresher food and glorious Tuscan wines. My "good life" doesn't really meet the Italian good life, food wise at least. I can still dream and buy expensive Italian cheeses at whole foods. Yum.
I really respect Frances, because she went and purchased a house 7,000 miles away from home and made it her new home. She embraced the defects and imperfections of old world homes and living. Everyone wants "new" and "better" houses today. I think fixing up a senior citizen house might be fun, even with all the headaches.
What impresses me most is her determination to start a full garden that will provide all necessary vegetables and herbs. Now that is a chore. The thought of having my own garden intrigues me. It hasn't intrigued me enough to start my own yet. I managed to kill the $2 basil plant. Not a great start.
Let's hope her garden improves and so does her consumption of wine. :)
La Vita Dolce