Coffee-table books have always held a charm for me – the glossy pages, wonderful photographs, and concise descriptions for each of them. However, I had never let myself get tempted enough to buy one, since they are so frightfully expensive, and I had no real use for them. This thinking changed drastically when I heard of Frances Mayes’s coffee-table book, In Tuscany. I decided to go ahead and splurge on this one, since it was a book about a place that I have fallen in love with, thanks to an author whom I absolutely love reading. So, that is how In Tuscany came to be on my bookshelf.
In Tuscany is a collection of pictures from Tuscany, including some of Frances and her husband Ed’s lovely home – Bramasole. There are short essays sandwiched in between the pictures, giving readers a feel of the place.
I read the book over the course of a day. It doesn’t really have much text; it has more of pictures and recipes. I needed a day to admire and ooh and aah over the pictures, and to keep calling the husband and keep telling him ‘I want to go to Tuscany!!’
I had a lingering feeling all throughout while reading Under The Tuscan Sun, A Year In The World, and Bella Tuscany – how nice it would be if I could see all the places that the author has described, if not in reality, at least in photographs. I wanted to see the roses climbing on the walls of Bramasole, the olive trees in the garden, the marketplace of Tuscany, the sunflowers and the poppies in bloom, and the wonderful people that Mayes writes about so fondly. In Tuscany allowed me to see all of that and more, and was a dream-come-true for me in that respect.
In Tuscany put before me slices from the pretty town of Tuscany, with photographs that beautifully capture the very essence of the place. Frances Mayes’s writing is, as always, passionate and lyrical, magical and charming and soothing. The book gave me a chance to hold pieces from a faraway place that I have imagined loads about, in concrete shape, in my hands, in the comfort of my reading couch. And it made me fall in love with Tuscany all over again. And, it gave me the inspiration to shake my lazy bum off my chair and get around to creating the home that I have always dreamt about. And, it brought on a new wave of longing to travel, to get out of the mundane and just go somewhere!
Would I recommend this book? I absolutely would. Especially if you are as much in love with travelling, Mayes’s writing and Tuscany as I am.