Monday, 1 June 2009
Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes
A very enjoyable read, but it didn't flow very smoothly, nor was it a page turner. I thought the descriptions of local people and life in the village very interesting and not too patronising or over-romanticised as so many are in this type of book. In my view it was much better than Under the Tuscan Sun which had a very self-satisfied tone that I didn't like.
I would have liked more information about Annie and her sister - it was a bit of a mystery how they transformed from holiday workers on the rose farm into part-time residents, or did I miss something? What did they do in England and how were they able to travel back and forth so often? I imagine the reason was to maintain some privacy, but it bothered me somehow.
The structure seemed to me to be a little odd. At first I thought it was going to be a description of a single year, only to realise that it was progressing through the years as well as the seasons. At times that gave a confusing/disjointed impression and it made it hard to follow in places.
Nevertheless it was a very entertaining read and one I would recommend to anyone interested in Italy.