Am höchsten bewertete positive Rezension
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joie de vivre
am 10. März 2000
A reviewer below complained that "romanticising the mundane" was a flaw of the book. I agree with the fact that Ms. Mayes does glorify the trivial, yet I find that characteristic to be the ambience of the novel akin to the feeling you get after your first glass of wine on a warm evening. It makes you realize how little you pay attention to detail in your life. Awareness is a quality this e-Generation has suffered from w/its efficacy and speed.
I think that this novel helps heighten your sense of awareness in your own life. Ever arrive at your destination and forgot how you got there? How much in your life do you spend subconsciously making turns and shifting gears in a listless reverie?
This book gives you a sense of awareness that there is delight in the means, not the end. The vivacity lies in the wildflowers as you weed your garden, the sun on your face when you run your errands, the flicker of a candle on the wall, the smell of your first bite of apple. Did you ever roll down your window and smell the air when you drive?
This novel giggles a delight in immersing your self in the history and richness of a new land. Newness magnifies your attention to detail, where events, situations, and olives take on a whole new perspective. As a software designer who spends most of my day looking at the same flat screen of a laptop, I relish the visual imagery of the real world, as Frances Mayes seems to do in Italy.
As a bonus, this book was invaluable on and before my trip to Tuscany a few months ago. Days before our trip, I found myself preparing ribolitta and polenta, giggling when I realized what she meant by the chef's treat for the ribolitta. In Tuscany, it was delightful to add my own layer of interpretation to hers and other authors I have read (Try Matthew Spender).
As with most novels, you become intimate with the main character, whether you agree with their perspective or not (how many ppl really agreed w/Raskolnikov but liked Crime and Punishment?). You peer thru a window of words; you gain knowledge of how the world is seen through the eyes of another. And perhaps, you gain awareness on how you view your own world - be it Tuscany, Tennessee, or Taiwan -- and that awareness can be shared. Ms. Mayes sense of awareness is flows like wine poured from a friend, up late at night, sharing your lives.