Reviews

  • "Lyrically written and beguiling... What makes it special is the sustained note of joy in it; joy in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, the sights and sounds of daily life, the physical labour involved in the restoration of this 200-year-old villa and the five acres of land that go with it"

    Sunday Times
  • "Like many delightful books, this account of restoring a Tuscan farmhouse and its land is hard to classify. The author is a poet, good at evoking atmosphere and describing place; a cook who collects appetizing winter and summer recipes; an academic who sets her new home in its Roman and Etruscan context. Above all, Mayes is an enthusiast for starting over. After the dissolution of a long marriage, she celebrates Christmas in Italy with her grown-up daughter and her new partner. 'Is this much happiness allowed?' she asks. You bet"

    Mail on Sunday
  • "Frances Mayes is a wonderful writer. She captures with exceptional poetry and vivacity the extraordinary beauty of Tuscany. She understands Tuscany like a person who was born and has lived here all her life"

    Lorenza De'Medici
  • "A wonderfully languid and evocative diary"

    Independent
  • "Stone by stone, Frances Mayes builds the story of what is not so much a love affair as an all-consuming passion. A glorious book - seductive, sensuous, beautifully crafted... '"

    Elisabet Luard