Customer Reviews for

Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful Book That Bring You Up To Date on Frances Mayes Life in Italy

I loved the third book on Frances Mayes life in Italy, but had wished she had less description on the religious art in Italy and included more photographs of the town and villages she visited and lived in Tuscany. If you are a fan of her first two novels you will like t...
I loved the third book on Frances Mayes life in Italy, but had wished she had less description on the religious art in Italy and included more photographs of the town and villages she visited and lived in Tuscany. If you are a fan of her first two novels you will like this book also.

posted by DebDD on April 8, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Didn't fly through it

I loved Under the Tuscan Sun, but found this book a little hard to get through. I first found myself thinking it was a lot like some of Peter Mayle's books (which I love), in that it was about everyday life in Italy and there was not a certain cohesiveness to the book,...
I loved Under the Tuscan Sun, but found this book a little hard to get through. I first found myself thinking it was a lot like some of Peter Mayle's books (which I love), in that it was about everyday life in Italy and there was not a certain cohesiveness to the book, but rather a collection of accounts of life. There were bits of the story that I really enjoyed and some that I didn't care for, but other readers may love. For example, there is an extensive part of the book dedicated to the art of Cortona's Signorelli. I can see art aficionados loving that section, I didn't love it, but liked the religious references regarding the art. I found that thought provoking. I prefer to read about Italy's countryside (which was described in beautiful detail in the book) and the food and this book doesn't just focus on those topics (which isn't all bad!). It would be a nice book club book and I thought it would make a great book to read and discuss in a college art/religion course.

posted by Amcgraw on May 6, 2010

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful Book That Bring You Up To Date on Frances Mayes Life in Italy

    I loved the third book on Frances Mayes life in Italy, but had wished she had less description on the religious art in Italy and included more photographs of the town and villages she visited and lived in Tuscany. If you are a fan of her first two novels you will like this book also.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    TUSCANY REDUX

    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.

    In addition to meeting her exuberant friends, enjoying time spent with grandson Willie, and understanding her frustration with the boars who seem to constantly root gardens, we join Frances and Ed as they travel from Cortona to other towns, Orvieto, Arezzo, Positano, and more. I found myself making notes, underlining so as not to miss the restaurants and sights Mayes describes so temptingly when we return to Italy. Obviously, few of us can enjoy Italia as she does - with two homes to alternate between. But, as always, this author gives us many happy dreams.

    Especially meaningful for this reader was one of the final sections re Rome. She noted, "Of the great cities, Rome has the biggest heart.' How true! And after young Willie saw the Trevi fountain, he closed his eyes and said, "I can't see any more. If I see any more, I will miss Rome too much." If there isn't another book coming from Frances Mayes, I would miss her too much.

    Should this be your first Mayes book, you're in for a rare treat. If it's the third or fourth for you, it is still the singular Frances Mayes.

    Enjoy!

    - Gail Cooke

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2010

    A Third Visit with Freances in Tuscany

    I've read each of Freances Mayes four travel books, Under the Tuscan Sun, Bella Tuscany, A Year in the World, and this, Every Day in Tuscany. Each feels like a visit to a friend you haven't seen in sometime, and have a million things to talk about. Ms Mayes invites us to experience Cortona, her Italian hometown, through her eyes. She's been a part-time resident there for 20-odd years, and loves it like a native. I especially like reading her books on a miserable winter day when I long to feel the sun on my face, her descriptions of Italy are detailed and vibrant. Not everyone can make the trip to Tuscany, so we can only hope she continues to send us these snapshots of her life

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    HER STORY, HER VOICE

    It's always a rare treat to hear a book read by the author, in this case the estimable Frances Mayes who recounts her life in Tuscany with unparalleled passion and zest. After all, who could possible remember those days or experiences as truly as Mayes? Having said that, Mayes is not a professional voice performer hence for this listener the long "a's" seemed a bit unsuited to the text and passages I remember reading almost languorously because they brought so much pleasure seemed hurried. Nonetheless, since it is Frances Mayes telling her personal story in her own voice this is an audiobook to be savored.
    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.
    In addition to meeting her exuberant friends, enjoying time spent with grandson Willie, and understanding her frustration with the boars who seem to constantly root gardens, we join Frances and Ed as they travel from Cortona to other towns, Orvieto, Arezzo, Positano, and more. I found myself making notes, underlining so as not to miss the restaurants and sights Mayes describes so temptingly when we return to Italy. Obviously, few of us can enjoy Italia as she does - with two homes to alternate between. But, as always, this author gives us many happy dreams.
    Especially meaningful for this reader was one of the final sections re Rome. She noted, "Of the great cities, Rome has the biggest heart.' How true! And after young Willie saw the Trevi fountain, he closed his eyes and said, "I can't see any more. If I see any more, I will miss Rome too much." If there isn't another book coming from Frances Mayes, I would miss her too much.
    Should this be your first Mayes book, you're in for a rare treat. If it's the third or fourth for you, it is still the singular Frances Mayes.
    Enjoy!
    - Gail Cooke

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2010

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    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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