Monday, July 29, 2013

At Least You're in Tuscany...

I don't know why but running away from relationship or job issues to live in Italy seems to be a Thing as of late. Not that I particularly care; who doesn't dream of packing up everything and running away to a new land? And just like every other woman who wants to run off to Europe to escape their worries and fears, I quickly became interested in At Least You're in Tuscany since the author did just what I sometimes fantasize about doing.

It's interesting how your opinion of a book can change over the course of time. When I first finished this book I was really excited and found no faults in it. I was ready to write a exciting review full of exclamation points but then real life stepped in and I didn't write a single review for weeks. So, time passed, and with it some of my excitement began to fade and I realized... there is a lot of whining in this book.

The complaints are what make up the book and in some ways, that's annoying, because in the end this author did this to herself. It was her decision to move there on what seemed to be a whim so it's no fault but her own that she is broke/has no friends/can't get a job. 

But... that does make up the story. The author goes to Tuscany with this fabulous vision in mind and finds out she didn't fully consider the less than favorable outcomes. In this way, she writes a fabulous book that gives a more vivid idea of what it can be like to pick up your stuff and move to another country. Often enough with these books I'm left wondering how the author could afford to just up and leave, get a cute little apartment and partake in all of these events in another country but for Jennifer Criswell it isn't that easy. So for that, thank you for the honesty.

Being able to simply land a job in Italy proves to be a lot harder than most books make it seem. Criswell struggles to make ends meet and often times finds it understandably frustrating. She mentions a lot of the oddities (to Americans) that she experiences. Italians are full of expression but seem to shy away from the display of pure emotion. The small towns are similar to the small towns of America in that everyone knows each other. Criswell describes the area with enough detail that I could envision the town and hills with perfect clarity.

I still enjoyed this book, after having had a few days to process it and realize that it is, generally, filled with complaints but in the best way possible. This feels more real and more honest than other books. If I want romantic imagery with a day dreamy twist, I can read the other travel books that are out there. But if I want a bit of the hard truth, I'll turn to this book. Picking up all of your things and moving to another country is a marvel and dream for many but I'm sure it isn't all that easy. This book seems to add proof to that.

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