Customer Reviews for

Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home In Italy

Average Rating 3.5
( 105 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A superb feast

I am an avid reader. I don't waste time on books if they don't catch my interest right in the beginning. Hey, there are sooo many books out there to read and so little time. Anway, this book is beyond words. I tasted the food described and felt the sun on my...
I am an avid reader. I don't waste time on books if they don't catch my interest right in the beginning. Hey, there are sooo many books out there to read and so little time. Anway, this book is beyond words. I tasted the food described and felt the sun on my back and sensed the colors of the terrain. It was such a treat to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book that transports them to another place! She has a new one coming out too....titled "Swan".

posted by Anonymous on October 8, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

It Really Just Depends

I started reading this book knowing that it was going to be nothing like the movie. And let me tell you, I was right. I knew it wouldn't have the fluff and romance the movie did, and I was okay with that- or so I thought.
This book is beautifully written, and if you...
I started reading this book knowing that it was going to be nothing like the movie. And let me tell you, I was right. I knew it wouldn't have the fluff and romance the movie did, and I was okay with that- or so I thought.
This book is beautifully written, and if you're one of those armchair travelers, you'll absolutely LOVE IT- go buy it right now! Although, if you're not...then think a bit more before.
I think that this book would be something fantastic to read if you wanted to relax and escape from your world, if only for a little bit. Maybe the reason I didn't like it so much was because I was on my school's winter break, and therefore- already too relaxed. This book had no action, no romance, and nothing really to get me INTO it. Then again, if I ever have a really rough day where everything seems to be going wrong- I will
definitely pick up this book and read a couple of pages. Because it's relaxing, it's interesting, it's descriptions are flawless.
If you want to read this book and ENJOY it, you have to love learning, because that's what it is, really. It's teaching you about her experience in Italy and the country's culture as well.
To sum it up, this book is for those who love biographies, beautiful and descriptive writing, culture, and something that you can sit down and relax to.

posted by Mrs_Fitzwilliam_Darcy on January 6, 2009

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  • Posted January 6, 2009

    It Really Just Depends

    I started reading this book knowing that it was going to be nothing like the movie. And let me tell you, I was right. I knew it wouldn't have the fluff and romance the movie did, and I was okay with that- or so I thought.<BR/>This book is beautifully written, and if you're one of those armchair travelers, you'll absolutely LOVE IT- go buy it right now! Although, if you're not...then think a bit more before.<BR/>I think that this book would be something fantastic to read if you wanted to relax and escape from your world, if only for a little bit. Maybe the reason I didn't like it so much was because I was on my school's winter break, and therefore- already too relaxed. This book had no action, no romance, and nothing really to get me INTO it. Then again, if I ever have a really rough day where everything seems to be going wrong- I will <BR/>definitely pick up this book and read a couple of pages. Because it's relaxing, it's interesting, it's descriptions are flawless. <BR/>If you want to read this book and ENJOY it, you have to love learning, because that's what it is, really. It's teaching you about her experience in Italy and the country's culture as well. <BR/>To sum it up, this book is for those who love biographies, beautiful and descriptive writing, culture, and something that you can sit down and relax to.

    18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    A superb feast

    I am an avid reader. I don't waste time on books if they don't catch my interest right in the beginning. Hey, there are sooo many books out there to read and so little time. Anway, this book is beyond words. I tasted the food described and felt the sun on my back and sensed the colors of the terrain. It was such a treat to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book that transports them to another place! She has a new one coming out too....titled "Swan".

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2000

    smell the pasta

    I think the best part of the book was to remind me how pathetic most Americans have become in reference to taking the time to enjoy the 'given'. 'Given' meaning such things as the simple joy of food, wildlife, what makes an individual unique, taking a walk, etc. In the U.S. we are so concerned with making a buck, doing things as fast as we can so that we have more time to do what? This book reminded me at least of what is most important and how the most enjoyable things in life are either in your home or right outside the door....

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A delicious read!

    Under the Tuscan Sun follows creative writing professor Frances Mayes and her husband as they move to Italy and restore a villa, all while sampling the local food and learning how to be Italian.<BR/><BR/>This book is mostly about home restoration and food, two topics Mayes manages to make both humorous and interesting. I loved the book, but there were a few things that bothered me.<BR/><BR/>First, Mayes' descriptions of her childhood throughout the book scream of wealth and privilege... not nice at all. Secondly, her attitude towards the Catholic church really bothered me. She seemed to almost make fun of it, going to far as to mention that she wants a font of holy water for her home! I find this extremely offensive, being Catholic myself.<BR/><BR/>But those things are few and far between in the book, and besides them, the book is great, very relaxing to read and slow-paced, so it's easy to follow. It's good to read over and over, and the recipes included sound so delicious, you just want to try them yourself. Unless you're someone looking for a romance or action book, you'll love Under the Tuscan Sun.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2004

    A Recent Italian Traveler

    I am 18 years old, and I recently returned from a trip to Italy, on which I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Frances Mayes, right outside her home, Bramasole. For all of the readers who do not understand how she could love those simple things so much, it would be hard to imagine....unless you have been there, which I have. Italy, particularly the region of Tuscany, is a breathtaking place that cannot possibly be done justice in a book. I love this book simply because when I read it, I remembered how much I loved being there.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The movie is better

    I was so disappointed after starting this book. It is a very hard read! In every way possible. It does not pull you in like it should, hard to follow and because of this hard to keep patient enough to keep reading and give it a chance. I'm not fond of Frances Mayes style of writing. The movie pulled me in and from there I loved the story. It hurts me to say I don't like the book. I normally like the book much better than the movie, that's just not the case now. Someday I may pick it up again and give it another try.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    i thought it was going to be just like the movie

    i was dissapointed. The book is wonderful in it s own way. Very discriptive and inviting with a few great cooking lessons in toe. however, i was really hoping it would be just like the movie , which this book is clearly nothing at all like the movie. It s almost as if it is 2 completly different stories that just happen to have the same name .

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    Excellent Choice

    This is a very detailed book. Like a previous review stated, it is not a "before bed" book. It's more of a rainy Sunday afternoon curl up on the couch with a book, blanket, and a glass of wine. I bought this book because I wanted to see how close the movie was to it. There are bits and pieces from the book in it, but doesn't come close. If you enjoy the movie, you will love this book. I can't wait to read Bella next.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2008

    A wonderfull biography, unlike the movie

    This is a wonderfull book on the exsperiences of Frances Mayers and her friend Ed who buy bramasole villa in Tuscany. The author goes into every detail about the house, gardens and problems with remodling. As well as the countryside of Tuscany. If you are looking for something like the movie, this book is not for you. The movie is pure fiction. This book is more like a biography, and need to be read as such.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2006

    I liked this.

    If you're after 'chills & thrills,' this isn't for you. This is an adventure of the spirit, for those who enjoy learning as they read. Ms. Mayes & her companion Ed Kleinschmidt take the risk of buying a run-down house in Tuscany &, over the succeeding summers, renovate it, making discoveries about the house, the surrounding country, their neighbors, & themselves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2000

    Lovely

    A lovely book about a woman who took a chance and changed her life. The descriptions of the flowers, views and daily life are marvelous. Although I've never been to Tuscany, her book has taken me there and I will never forget it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2015

    Fast, fun read

    The continuation of under the Tuscan Sun, written with a much lighter tone. I felt like I was living in Italy during the time I read the book. Made me want to go to Tuscany tomorrow!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2015

    YMCA

    $7.43

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2015

    A great winter read, and my escape from a subzero February

    If you’ve ever struggled to pound a nail, a screw or a bolt into 150-year-old beech wall framing (yes, it could double for cast iron), this could be the book for your coffee breaks. It worked for me. You may end up thinking your renovation problems, while tough, are no big deal. This well-written memoir includes not only the details, and occasional turmoil, of renovating a very old Tuscan house but also life in a wonderfully pastoral landscape with tales of forays into village markets and other near-by venues. Not least you practically get to know the variously talented, infuriating, funny and caring locals. And in case it all starts sounding like time for lunch, there are even some Tuscan recipes. I should also say that I far preferred the book to the movie which, while entertaining, did not and probably could not begin to do justice to this artful memoir.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2015

    Zach

    Gtg

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2015

    Ryli

    She bites her lip so hard she tastes blood, moaning throught them. Grasping his hair.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2015

    &starf Medicine Cat Den and Herb Garden &starf

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2015

    warm read for cold night but warning this is not the movie

    A married couple who live and work in california are rehab the house and garden not a divorcee if i went anywhere foreign to live it would be italy next to norway and a fyord buska

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  • Posted March 20, 2012

    Quite different from the movie

    But a lovely book to read. Gives a wonderful insight to living in Italy. Wish I could trade places with her!

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I could feel the warmth of the Tuscan sun

    I enjoyed and could feel the author's love for this region of Italy and found it a bit contagious. I loved her descriptions of their house on the hill overlooking a river valley and their discoveries of Etruscan roads and artifacts on their property and close by. She takes us with her on a tour of Tuscany and Umbria searching out Etruscan sites and tombs and savoring all the food and wine the region has to offer. It was very inspiring to read about their restoration projects and how they progressed. About how they terraced the hillside all around their home and took great care in planning and planting all of their gardens and outdoor dining and sitting areas. Her love for food and cooking is hard to ignore and there are some wonderful recipes included in this book which I can't wait to try.

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