Saturday, April 08, 2006

"A Year in the World", by Frances Mayes


I am part way through a new book by Frances Mayes, “A Year in the World”. I am reading it for my own edification and so I can write a review for the local library. I have read all her books and two stand out, “Under the Tuscan Sun” and this one. True there were some great recipes in “Bella Tuscany” a book arranged on the different stages of an Italian dinner, but it wasn’t one of her better books. Thanks for the Ragout recipe though, it is the best I have ever made.

In “A Year in the World”, Frances and her husband throw off all their shackles, resigning from their positions as Bay Area professors and take to the open road. They begin in Spain where they let the poet Lorca speak for the countryside. Mayes gives you a back stage pass to each country they visit, avoiding the touristy glitz and biting in to the flavor and texture of each region. Mayes uses passages from famous local authors, vivid descriptions of the scenes, and a poetic description of the cuisine. You learn about the real country, not the one you would see a few short steps off the tour bus. If this book doesn’t fire up the wanderlust in you as it has in me, check into group therapy. You can actually feel the hot sun, hear the strains of Flamenco, and taste the Tapas. Read this book for the insights into the prose of Europe, the food, the people, but read this book.

5 Comments:

At 3:18 AM, Blogger mummified said...

keep doing cool stuff like this and you will get called a sensitive new age guy. be afraid, be very afraid. But seriously, will visit my local library and see if they have a copy.

:-)

 
At 2:30 AM, Blogger Die Muräne said...

Sounds interesting! I will have a look at this book (as I plan to drive once more through Europe this summer) TY!

 
At 10:03 AM, Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

Oho! Read the book, then visit the country! How's that? :-)

 
At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! »

 
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,

 

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