I read the precursor to this book – A Thousand Days in Venice – quite a while ago. In that book, the author had thrown her life in the US over to go to Italy and marry a man she didn’t know very well. The first book is the story of her learning to love her husband, and her new city and country.
In this book, her husband has retired from his bank job, and they’ve decided to move to Tuscany to live a country life that’s probably based mainly on fantasy, but they’re game to try. Their new neighbors are a bit bemused by the idea, but give them many ideas from the past, and help with their plans. Slowly, they start to figure out the new life they want to lead, and gain new friends in this new village.
This is actually only a year – the title is clearly meant to echo the earlier story – but it’s a packed year, and it’s lovely to read the author’s descriptions (she’s just this side of overly flowery – I suspect she’s the kind of writer you either get right off and enjoy, or one you’re loathe). There is a definite bittersweet component to this book, as advertised, but it’s almost nice in a way, to see that there is the good and the bad when you throw you life over to live this kind of adventure.