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The Politics of Washing: Real Life in Venice Paperback – April 1, 2014

3.5 out of 5 stars 135 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

With four children in tow, Coles and her husband move from the comfort of an English village to live and work in Venice. The tourist vision of a baroque city floating in ineffable beauty above the Adriatic mist gives way to the reality of conducting life, finding an apartment, getting kids to school, shopping without a car, dealing with medical emergencies, and learning to contend with cranky natives bickering endlessly in the incomprehensible local dialect over what defines a real Venetian. Her brood of energetic kids makes her stand out in a city stagnating from a swiftly declining birthrate, and the children have trouble thriving in authoritarian, eager-to-punish classrooms. Coles learns to hang laundry outdoors properly and teaches herself to row a boat only to feature in tourist photos. Anyone who has visited Venice will find this dose of reality sharply, yet lovingly, contrasts with la serenissima’s fairy-tale facade. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

"She can write, fantastically well. . . . Venice deserves this dose of perspicacious pragmatism."  —Spectator

"For lovers of excursions, travel writing, and adventurous living." —Library Journal
"A riveting account of ordinary life in an extraordinary place, packed with charming anecdotes that will have readers hooked on Venetian life." —Woodburn Independent


"The Politics of Washing is a readable memoir, at times funny, enjoyable, and feels very real." —Luxury Reading


“funny, humbling tale of one family’s attempt to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.” —cayocosta72 - Book Reviews



"...eloquent." —The New York Times

Product details

  • Paperback : 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780719808784
  • Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
  • Product Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0719808784
  • Publisher : Robert Hale (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : 0719808782
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.5 out of 5 stars 135 ratings

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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5
135 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 3, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2016
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4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 24, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

bookyfemale
5.0 out of 5 stars The absolute best of the lot...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 9, 2019
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4 people found this helpful
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Philtrum
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed but fascinating insight into actually LIVING in Venice
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2017
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2 people found this helpful
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Damian Waters
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the Venice I know.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 13, 2018
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2 people found this helpful
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S.A.
1.0 out of 5 stars absolutely not as promised
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 12, 2019
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The Cats' Mother
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual book about Venice - written from a (short-term) resident's viewpoint
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 25, 2013
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