Monday, August 2, 2010

Title:  A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance
Author:  Marlena de Blasi
Format:  Hardcover
Pages:  270
Genre:  Memoir/Travelogue/Romance
Date Started:  May 20, 2010
Date Finished:  May 21, 2010

Rating:  A-

Description (from Barnes & Noble):  He saw her across the Piazza San Marco and fell in love from afar. When he sees her again in a Venice café a year later, he knows it is fate. He knows little English; and she, a divorced American chef, speaks only food-based Italian. Marlena thinks she is incapable of intimacy, that her heart has lost its capacity for romantic love. But within months of their first meeting, she has packed up her house in St. Louis to marry Fernando—“the stranger,” as she calls him—and live in that achingly lovely city in which they met.

Vibrant but vaguely baffled by this bold move, Marlena is overwhelmed by the sheer foreignness of her new home, its rituals and customs. But there are delicious moments when Venice opens up its arms to Marlena. She cooks an American feast of Mississippi caviar, cornbread, and fried onions for the locals . . . and takes the tango she learned in the Poughkeepsie middle school gym to a candlelit trattoría near the Rialto Bridge. All the while, she and Fernando, two disparate souls, build an extraordinary life of passion and possibility.

Featuring Marlena’s own incredible recipes,
A Thousand Days in Venice is the enchanting true story of a woman who opens her heart—and falls in love with both a man and a city.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When's the next flight to Venice?  After reading this book, I wanted more than anything to find the fastest way to Venice, and make my home there.  Marlena de Blasi's style of writing, her descriptions of Venice, her gift for conveying emotions so well.  All of these worked together to make a great book.

I read de Blasi's Thousand Days books out of order, but each stands on their own, so it didn't matter that I knew already where de Blasi and her husband would end up.  The main reason this book was so different from its sequel is that the focuses of the two books are completely different.  In her second book, de Blasi wrote about the people and food of Tuscany.  She focused on her relationships to those people and to that food.  In this book, de Blasi is more interested in describing her romance and marriage to "the stranger", her move from one culture to another, her struggle to reconcile her old life with her new one.  She was definitely a brave woman to risk everything by selling her home, quitting her job, and moving to Venice to be with a man she barely knew.

This book also incorporated the Italian language like the sequel, but unlike the sequel, translations were rarely included, so I felt like I missed out on something.  Very well-written overall, but I think I actually prefer Tuscany to VeniceA-

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