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With her beloved Tuscany as a home base, Mayes travels to Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, and to the Mediterranean world of Turkey, Greece, the South of Italy, and North Africa. In Andalucia, she relishes the intersection of cultures. She cooks in Portugal, gathers ideas in the gardens of England and Scotland, takes a literary pilgrimage to Burgundy, discovers an ideal place to live in Mantova, and explores the essential Moroccan city of Fez. She rents houses among ordinary residents, shops at neighborhood markets, wanders the back streets, and everywhere contemplates the concept of home. While in Greece, she follows the classic Homeric voyage across the Aegean, lives in a bougainvillea-draped stone house in Crete, and then drives deep into the Mani. In Turkey with friends, she sails the ancient coast, hiking to archaeological sites and snorkeling over sunken Byzantine towns.
Weaving together personal perceptions and informed commentary on art, architecture, history, landscape, and social and culinary traditions of each area, Mayes brings the immediacy of life in her temporary homes to the reader. An illuminating and passionate audiobook that will be savored by all who loved Under the Tuscan Sun, A Year in the World is travel writing at its peak.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sonia on 10-30-06
Enjoyable escape (mostly)
Overall, this book is quite a nice way to escape to Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK, Morocco, etc. for a few hours. The narrator is good -- immeasurably better than the author (who narrates her other books - disasterously). The prose is simple and the author does a good job of illustrating scenes in lovely places, with the occasional and very awkward attempt to insert something "deep" or personal that just ends up sounding off. Overall a nice, light listen -- probably better than reading the book.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Elizabeth on 09-24-08
Having enjoyed Under the Tuscan Sun - and being a passionate traveler myself - I looked forward to reading this book. Unfortunately, it is so poor that I gave up halfway through - a rare occurrence. At its best, Mayes's writing can be lyrical and seductive, and there are flashes of that here. But there are also flashes of turgid, self-important, and precious prose. Most of it is just boring. I also realized partway through that there is virtually NO humor in this book.
For travel writing from now on, I'll stick with Bryson or Troost or Rob Gifford.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful