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At Least You're in Tuscany Paperback – January 1, 2014
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"I absolutely fell in love with At Least You're in Tuscany, Jennifer, and most of all, her dog Cinder. Italy is a place of magnificent dreams but also of puzzling and challenging realities. Jennifer captures the dichotomy in a way few authors have. She also speaks to all of us who have had a mid-life change, willingly or unwillingly. I couldn't put this book down. You won't be able to either." - Kathy McCabe, Publisher, Dream of Italy Travel Newsletter
"If you're dreaming of making a move to Italy one day, or simply enjoy reading expat tales, I'd highly recommend At Least You're in Tuscany by Jennifer Criswell. It's a tale not only about life in Tuscany but also about having the determination to follow your heart's desires - no matter what challenges life throws your way!" - Laura Thayer, Ciao Amalfi!
"An honest, funny, and compulsively readable account of one woman's quest to live the Tuscan dream." - Signe Pike, author of Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World
From the Back Cover
"I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves Italy or Tuscany or who is thinking about moving overseas." - Arlene Gibbs, author of The Rebirth Of Mrs. Tracey Higgins and co-screenwriter of the hit Hollywood film, Jumping The Broom
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'Mi sono appena trasferita a Montepulciano.' I've just moved to Montepulciano, I smiled, resisting the urge to apologize for my horrible Italian.
'Perche?' he asked, looking genuinely puzzled. I'd fielded this question a lot in February when I'd said I was moving here. Locals seemed bewildered that anyone would want to come and live in their town.
'Sono scrittrice.' I told him. I'm a writer. Then I added, 'Cercavo pace.' I was looking for peace. This didn't begin to express all the reasons why I loved Italy, but it was all I could manage. I would have liked to explain that I was supposed to be here, but I didn't know exactly how to say that, which is just as well because I probably seemed kooky enough already.
'Ma per sempre?' he insisted.
Yes, I told him, I was planning to be here forever. He looked at me speculatively, then extended his hand to welcome me and introduce himself: 'Benvenuta! Sono Stefano.'"
This is an example of how Jennifer Criswell writes. She's honest, sincere, and very down to earth. Her tale of being an ex-pat isn't like those others where someone with a lot of money buys an old farm house to renovate and moans and groans about carpenters not showing up, or water heaters not heating the water, or being unable to get over the usual bureaucratic pitfalls they inevitably have. No. Jenny, as the locals come to call her, tells the reader just what it's like to hunt for an affordable apartment to rent, wait for most of her belongings to be mailed from New York City to Montepulciano, run frighteningly low on funds, worry about getting a job (any job), and has to eat canned tuna every day in order to survive.
Through it all, she manages to stay mostly lighthearted and optimistic. Jenny does find comfort in her best friend which happens to be her Weimaraner Cindy. Both girl and dog manage to win the hearts of Italians and other ex-pats alike. Jenny also is a pretty decent cook and enjoys baking brownies and other tasty treats for her new found friends.
I enjoyed this book and think others here looking for something that's light and entertaining will too. O...Jenny writes a blog with more of her interesting adventures in and thoughts about living in Italy. Look her up. 4 Stars
Anyone who visits Italy probably has at the very least a fleeting thought of packing up and moving there. This is a story of someone who did just that-packed up and set down roots in a foreign country. But instead of the oh so overdone fairy tale of a young woman who moves to Italy, renovates a Tuscan villa, falls in love and lives happily ever after, this book is a realistic account of what it takes to pack up and move to somewhere where you don't know anyone or even speak the language. How do you learn the language? What do you do for work when your funds get crucially low? How do you navigate the long and convoluted process of gaining citizenship? We don't think about the day to day when we're daydreaming! This book, however, finds complete entertainment in the minutiae of daily life.
I found this book to be very well written and not overdone in any way. It was peppered with just enough italian words, the stories didn't seem over embellished, and character development was well done. I enjoyed it very much and I'm looking forward to the sequal...or at least another book by this adventurous author.
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed the story of her travails becoming an Italian citizen, being accepted by her neighbors, coping with the fog, having an ill advised...Read more