A Year in the World is vintage Frances Mayes, a celebration of the allure of travel, of serendipitous pleasures found in unlikely locales, of memory woven into the present, and of a joyous sense of quest. An ideal travel companion, Frances Mayes brings to the page the curiosity of an intrepid explorer, remarkable insights into the wonder of the everyday, and a compelling narrative style that entertains as it informs.
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.
©2006 Frances Mayes; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Mayes' prose shines with evocative imagery, bringing life to every subject she encounters across her peripatetic year." (Booklist)
Please do not let this author narrate a book again. Her southern accent is not a pleasant one and heaped on top of foreign pronunciations, it's deadly. Also the meals consumed by the author and her husband are the primary focus of the writing. This book is a weak effort.
...........we all know that authors should not narrate their own work. Listening to this down-home Georgia girl read her own stuff helps remind us why. And, I'd like to make this clear also: this is a book more about eating than traveling.
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