Book 9: Bella Tuscany – Frances Mayes

You can’t help but love the way Frances Mayes writes her books. You can tell she has a background in literature, but truly loves writing. Her rich descriptions and colorful asides take her beautiful memoirs from just being books to being journeys. Having read Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in the World, when I found out Ms. Mayes was speaking as part of the Lowell Lecture Series at the Boston Public Library I had to go and listen. I had a brief opportunity to speak with her after the lecture about A Year in the World and her growing up in the South, however it is her time and writings in Tuscany which brought her into the public eye and to Boston in particular.

In Bella Tuscany we once again join Ms. Mayes and her partner Ed and their various friends, acquaintances and neighbors in Tuscany. We are immediately reintroduced to Bramasole, their house, which is almost a character in its own right with a unique and quirky personality. Although it has been a few years since I read Under the Tuscan Sun, the similarities in the beautiful writing style and the ill temperament of Bramasole remain. There are a couple of sad portions of the memoir, but the ebb and flow of life in San Francisco and Cortona, Italy show that with sadness comes change and the future.

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