Friday, February 8, 2013

ANTONIA And Her Daughters : Secrets, Love, Friendship and Family In Tuscany
by Marlena de Blasi

Marlena de Blasi has written four previous books on living and cooking in Italy. She and her husband, Fernando, have recently moved and their new place is being renovated. It's too noisy to write amongst all of the contractors so Marlena decides that she needs solitude and ends up living in a small one-room house in the woods of western Tuscany. It's in this environment that she meets Antonia who at eighty-two is still beautiful, vibrant, and forceful. The two of them clash, at first, and then become friends. Antonia is the matriarch of four generations of gorgeous, blue-eyed women who each have their own story to tell. But it is Antonia who has hidden secrets that the family doesn't know about and over time, she reveals them to Marlena.
Having read four of de Blasi's previous works on Tuscany, I eagerly jumped on this book. Her writing is always lush with descriptions of the countryside, the people, the culture. When she talks about food and cooking, you just salivate (recipes are always included). Antonia and Her Daughters includes this stuff but the bulk of the book is about Antonia. It was a disappointment and doesn't come close to her others. The story drags on and many times, I almost quit reading but I continued as I wanted to see what happened and how the book would end. Much of what is written is repetitious concerning Tuscany, the food, etc., so there's much padding (filler).
I'm sure that many people would enjoy reading this book especially if they're a fan of de Blasi's and Tuscany.