BOOK REVIEW: WOMEN IN SUNLIGHT by Frances Mayes

BOOK REVIEW: WOMEN IN SUNLIGHT by Frances Mayes

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If you’re familiar with the book-turned-movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, well this is the same author. Frances Mayes took me to Italy for an entire blessed year– to San Rocco, to be exact– a small village tucked away in the rolling hills of Tuscany. Commence your Italy playlist search on Spotify.

Kit, a Florida native, has lived in San Rocco for a dozen years (she’s in her early forties) & from her garden where she writes, she sees three American women arrive at the newly leased villa across the way.

Camille, Susan, & Julia, all met a handful of months ago at an orientation for Cornwallis Meadows– an independent living community near their hometown in North Carolina. This seemed like a natural next step for all three– two had lost their husbands, & one was trying to forget about hers. Simplify. That was their right now. They had done the working thing, the parenting thing, the marriage thing. And now they could grow a small garden behind their private white picket fence and meet up at the cafe together. They feel an immediate connection & meet up at Julia’s that evening for dinner & wine. This sparks a weekend invite from Susan to her beach house. And there, the plan unfolded.

They realized through talking with one another that none of them were aiming for simplicity. They wanted a challenge. Susan found the villa waiting for someone to lease. They all started taking Italian lessons. Camille almost backed out once. And then that October, they flew to Italy together.

After a big haul from IKEA to make the old house their own, everywhere they go is purely Italian. You can taste every cappuccino & every delectable pasta dish. Julia takes cooking classes so their kitchen is always bursting with herbs & spices. Susan picks up Italian like a pro, & uses it to her advantage as she uses nearly every moment to find unique methods & pieces for her massive garden. Camille shut down her art passion years ago when she became a mom, but it can’t help but surface here. And yes, where there is Italy, there is romance, always.

Women in Sunlight reminded me of a few things:

    1. You are in charge of your life.
    2. You reflect the people you spend the most time with.
    3. Everyone needs a friend she can travel with.
    4. Food is the sort of celebration that should occur every day.
  • Italy is at the top of my bucket list.

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