I am more inclined to travel books these days and I had picked up 'Under theTuscan Sun' for the same reason. But that attempt failed miserably when I started nodding off reading the first few pages of the book. Since then the book has kind of occupied an undisturbed corner of my bookshelf and I silently moved it from my currently-reading list to to-read list. ( Hey, I didn't abandon the book...I just left it to pick it up later...Promise)
'Atleast You're in Tuscany', that term made me slightly curious since it is a pretty unusual name for a book title. Later I realized that it is the term that the Jennifer Criswell used to tell herself whenever she had second thoughts about her decision to move to Italy from New York. It certainly reminded me of 'All's Well' term used in Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots movie.
'A Somewhat Disastrous Quest for the Sweet Life' is the second part of the title, which is the clear indication about what the book is all about. Jennifer dreamed about a wonderful life in Tuscany, enjoying everything about Italy and Italians.But her quest for sweet life becomes a distant dream when she finds that she is not even able to land a stable job owing to the Italian laws regarding immigrants. And there seems to be no easy or quick way out.
I liked every bit of this book though the reasons for shifting to Italy was never convincing. There is something very honest about Jennifer's writing that I liked very much. I just loved reading about her mundane existence in the first few months in Italy. And there were lot of desperate yet funny moments which she has managed to narrate well.
Atleast You're in Tuscany is not a travelogue in a strict sense. It is a story about finding yourself in a strange land in unexpected situations which are miles away from what you dreamed about. And this book is all about human relationships and friendships. You never know when you meet your next close friend. It could be in a shopping mall, or in a bakery or even in a bank.
I was very happy when Jennifer's disastrous quest concluded and it looked like she may not have to return to New York accepting defeat. And I should say that I am certainly curious to know what happened next :) More than that I admire Jennifer's courage to leave a comfortable life to follow her dream of living in Tuscany.
First Release: September 28th 2012
Publisher: Gemelli Press LLC
Note: This is a review copy I received from publisher through netgalley in return for my honest opinion.