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Antonia and Her Daughters: Secrets, Love, Friendship and Family in Tuscany Paperback – November 1, 2013
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About the Author
Marlena de Blasi is the bestselling author of That Summer in Sicily, A Thousand Days in Venice, Tuscan Secrets, An Umbrian Love Story, and a novel, Amandine. She has been a chef, a journalist, a food and wine consultant, and a restaurant critic. She is also the author of two internationally published cookbooks of Italian food.
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(SPOILERS) From almost the first words that old Antonia speaks, we're aware that she and others dear to her were the victims of atrocities during the WWII Nazi occupation of their country home. The exact details don't emerge until near the end of the book. However, the gist of what happened is clear to us very early on. I was troubled by the writer's "shaping" these disclosures, with mysterious and portentious language, pretty much throughout the book.
It is done with much art, but somehow that is the heart of my objection. I think there are certain tragedies in life that need to be presented exactly as they were--with more of reality and less of art.
There are a few other less important lapses in the book. De Blasi is a profoundly gifted writer, but sometimes she depends too much on her charm to make us accept repetitious material. There are descriptions of certain landscapes and meals that, however pleasant at the time, are perilously close to filler. And toward the beginning of the book, either she or her Marlena-persona indulge in some borderline mean-spirited remarks about her husband Fernando. There is no question that this is a devoted couple, smitten lifelong with each other. However, De Blasi sets up her need to retreat alone to a country place by implying that Fernando is both emotionally and financially dependent on her. Did she really need to share this viewpoint? She seems to be using it as an excuse to do what she had determined to do anyway. And she seems to forget what her other books have revealed: she too is emotionally dependent on Fernando, and in the past he has made serious financial sacrifices to be with her.
De Blasi only reached her greatest fame and productivity after she and Fernando became life partners. He seems to be the rock from which she can soar. And what one would ask of De Blasi is to recognize his profound contributions both to their life together, and to her accomplishments.
Most recent customer reviews
The delicious recipes are such a bonus!Read more
I love all her books.