Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2018
I really wanted to like this book better than I did. It has its elements. It's about three women in their 60's who decide against retirement home living and decide to rent a villa in Tuscan. What a wonderful idea. They are all healthy, talented and have money. They are not dependent on their Social Security checks. They drop $1000 on old books without a blink of an eye, They cart home cases of wine and armloads of flowers. They are not worried about money at all.
They fall into unique employment opportunities, take classes especially in Italian, spend time in town drinking cappuccinos and visiting with the locals, meet interesting men and live a wonderful life. It's very reaffirming and wonderful although the excess started getting to me a little (sour grapes perhaps wishing I was living like that).
So what bothered me? It ambled and ambled. I finally narrowed down the problem. There is another couple already living there about 10-15 years younger than the women. They are already embedded. The woman is a famous niche writer and poet. She is writing about her former mentor in Tuscany, Margaret, another writer. And it's this tangent story that slows the story down. Margaret is not involved in the story and yet takes up copious amounts of space. This leads to my common complaint of the apparent lack of copy editors working now. A good one would have axed that story line right out and the book would have flowed so much better.
Here's the other complaint. Most of the visiting Americans seem to come from the San Francisco area, known locally as the Bay Area. Apparently this is due to the wine connection. So I am happily
reading along when native Californians are referring to San Fran. This would NEVER ever happen. It is almost like a racial slur, fingernails on a chalkboard, an insult. This is such a marked error that it almost destroyed the book in itself for me. Please if you are going to San Francisco never say San Fran. It's just a glaring error
This book had such potential and if someone with a red pencil had fixed the ambling it would have been wonderful. I am so ready for books that explore lives after 60.