Top critical review
A Shopping Memoir, Not a Travel Memoir
on December 10, 2001
This book was a real disappointment. I had hoped to learn much about Tuscany, but actually learned very little, apart from Ms. Mayes' appreciation for material wealth. I, too, was annoyed by the "money is no object" approach to Ms. Mayes' life. But, then, I'm no Marxist. She has the right to live that way. But if she's going to write a travel memoir she should focus on the people of Tuscany. The only Tuscans we get to know are the ones she's contracted to renovate her house. All I got was a great deal of shopping, with but a little site seeing.
On top of all that, we have to read about her buying a new house in California as well. The real irony of the story is that she returns home to find her partner's mother (future mother-in-law) near death; someone she describes as devoted to family and not wealth; someone she has unfortunately only met twice in her life. So much Ms. Mayes could have learned from her family if she had spent more time with her and less time using Italy as a mall.
Finally, this book is full of such inappropriate imagery, like the flower that reminded her of her first open-mouth kiss. Her metahpors are generally pretty wierd. Please don't read this book.