Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine and Love in Italy

Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine and Love in Italy

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by Michael Tucker
     
 

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The actor Michael Tucker and his wife, the actress Jill Eikenberry, having sent their last child off to college, were vacationing in Italy when they happened upon a small cottage nestled in the Umbrian countryside. The three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old Rustico sat perched on a hill in the verdant Spoleto valley amid an olive grove and fruit trees of every kind. For

Overview

The actor Michael Tucker and his wife, the actress Jill Eikenberry, having sent their last child off to college, were vacationing in Italy when they happened upon a small cottage nestled in the Umbrian countryside. The three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old Rustico sat perched on a hill in the verdant Spoleto valley amid an olive grove and fruit trees of every kind. For the Tuckers, it was literally love at first sight, and the couple purchased the house without testing the water pressure or checking for signs of termites. Shedding the vestiges of their American life, Michael and Jill endeavored to learn the language, understand the nuances of Italian culture, and build a home in this new chapter of their lives. Both a celebration of a good marriage and a careful study of the nature of home, Living in a Foreign Language is a gorgeous, organic travelogue written with an epicurean’s delight in detail and a gourmand’s appreciation for all things fine.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A satisfying look into the good life.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“Foodies will slaver and bristle with envy at the surfeit of pungently fresh truffles that appear at seemingly every meal.”­­ —Mark Knoblauch, Boolist

“Not at all the usual actor’s memoir, but a simple toast to eating, drinking and innocent merriment in old Umbria.” —Kirkus Reviews

“If you’ve ever dreamed of living in an ancient stone villa set high above the Italian countryside—and who hasn’t?—Living in a Foreign Language is a seduction, a warning, an encouragement, and a guide to making a dream come true.” — Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow

“Michael Tucker’s Living in a Foreign Language is a rollicking, food and fun-filled chronicle of his and his wife Jill’s international traveling circus. From New York to Los Angeles to Marin county to Italy and New York again, it’s an odyssey of change and growth filled with good wine, fine food, and great friends. Infused with love, the Tuckers’ saga of building a home (and a life) in Umbria, Italy, is as warm and irresistible as a freshly baked pizza.” — Steven Bocho, hollywood producer and creator of L.A. Law

“[A] charming book. It literally grabbed me by the taste buds and took me for an epicurean excursion.” — Phil Doran, author of The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian

“The ex-L.A. Law star details his and wife Jill Eikenberry’s move to Italy. Viva la dolce vita!”—People

“Tucker … writes easily, endearingly and entertainingly about finding a rustico in the Italian countryside and moving there with his wife … Journey with him to Italy; you’ll smell that ravioli con funghi porcini.”—Geeta Sharma Jensen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Reading books on wine provides an invaluable, yet often insufficient, wine education. Without knowledge of the wines’ accompanying food, you’re nothing but a wine geek. Books like Living in a Foreign Language provide such an ideal context for how to truly enjoy wine with food that they should be required reading for all oenophiles.” —The Washington Post

“One quarter of the way through I realized this wonderful experience of Italy was going to have a last page, which I couldn’t and didn’t want to happen. I devoured each moment!” — Bernadette Peters

“Michael Tucker’s life is full of adventurous, lusty choices. He writes about them with just as much boldness. Whether it’s an Italian lesson in Rome or the first pizza party in his four-hundredyear- old kitchen in Umbria, his descriptions make you feel as if you’re guests in his home.” —John Lithgow

“When actor/writer Tucker and his wife, actress Jill Eikenberry, bought a cottage in Umbria, they fell in love with the house, the place, the food, the wine, and each other—all over again. This charming memoir will make you want to hop on the next plane to Italy with the love of your life (or find the love of your life).”—Elisabeth Grant-Gibson, Windows a bookshop, Monroe, LA, Book Sense quote

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802143624
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/10/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

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Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
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dolcevita10 More than 1 year ago
I loved every minute of this book and did not want it to end. It made me want to back to Italy everytime they were going back! They truly are living the dolce vita. Great couple and great friends enjoying life. The detail in this book was excellent and you could picture every minute of it. It leaves you wanting more.......
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Betts44 More than 1 year ago
As the Tuckers soon found out, living in Italy can be enchanting, deceptively so! It seems that people who are proud of their culture want to share what they have. I use the word 'deceptive' because Michael and Jill had no intention of buying a house when they went to Italy. The more they looked and visited, they more they liked what they saw and experienced. One of the reasons all this was so interesting to me was that about twenty something years ago, my husband, myself, and two children spent 2 1/2 years in Italy compliments of the United States Air Force. We lived off base for most of the time, and so got to know neighbors and shopkeepers. The less people had, the more they shared. When another culture is shared, one on one, more is learned and more is shared. The Tuckers had their share of culture shock, but learned to live with it. I would recommend this book to those who have been to Italy and those who have not. I warn you, thogh; it's hard to put the book down once you start reading!
travelreads More than 1 year ago
It is an easy read. Good for a flight or beach. Always fun to travel through someones adventures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was just browsing in Barnes and Noble when I spotted this book on a display table. I was curious so I read some before deciding to buy it. I remember Michael Tucker and his wife Jill from L.A.Law and wondered what had happened to them. His descriptions of scenery and food are amazing! I especially loved his account of going to a gym in Italy because Jill thought he was indulging in food too much(man, could this guy eat!). The only minus for me is the use of the f word which I think is totally unnecessary but which appears throughout the book. I read travel memoirs such as this one because I don't travel much myself, but, in spite of the use of that ugly word, it was a very enjoyable read!
SuzPim More than 1 year ago
This is a very engaging book. I wasn't particulary a fan of this "LA Law" couple but picked it up because I love to escape by reading travel journals. This is a great escape for anyone who ever wanted to pack up and move to another country just because they could! Michael Tucker is a very entertaining writer and I hope to see more from him soon.
leantwo More than 1 year ago
This brought me right back to the fourteen days I was in Italy . I could visualize exactly what Michael was writing about. Loved this book
marybWV More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful book. The descriptions of the Italian countryside, the local people and the fabulous recipes make one want to book a trip to Italy ASAP. Michael Tucker and his wife Jill purchase a 350 year old cottage in Umbria and quickly become a part of the local lifestyle, including pizza parties and pasta with plenty of great wines. The personal side of Michael Tucker and his wife is touching.

The writing style is humerous and easy to read. A witty, fun book that I recommend highly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Tucker's smarmy attitude and style of writing made this intolerable. There are much better travelogues out there, save your money!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt like the author was a bit arrogant. I couldn't even finish the book.
AikiPen More than 1 year ago
As much a travel essay as a food essay. I enjoyed this book and it's surrounding countryside. A reminder to stop and enjoy the world around you.
Vino78 More than 1 year ago
This book is about what many who have traveled wish to do, but the lucky make a reality. It is an entertaining journey through life and Italy with many comical and poignant reflections. I would like to be packed in their suitcase and left in a spare bedroom. I indulged in their meals, banter and also felt fulfilled. Thankfully I have Italian friends who help to make this a mini reality, but then have to return back to the states after my all too short 10 day vacation. Buy this for a friend who enjoys food and Italy or read at book club and talk about the what ifs. Oh, and don't be worried about the couple of "f" words used, it was never meant to be offensive and more commonly expressed depending upon where you have lived.