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Randal

Randal

Skip it.

— feeling bad smell
Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law - Katherine Wilson
A memoir of a young woman who went to Italy, fell in love, married, and had children. I love travel books, living vicariously through the experiences of others trying new cultures. This book was an exception.
In all honesty, I found it extremely difficult to like the author. An heir to the Wilson Sporting Goods company, she is a metaphor for spoiled, egotistical children. Some of her comments in the book may explain better. "The serene splendor of Tuscany would have been appropriate for an upper-class girl like me". "Growing up, I studied acting at Washington's most important theaters and took private voice lessons with esteemed classical musicians". "I was thankful for the Reformation. I knew with deep conviction that Martin Luther and John Calvin would've loved hearing me perform Les Mis". And, "my mother and aunt planned these vacations, which meant that while our friends from Washington went to Hilton Head or Cape Cod (oh my God, the horror those poor people must experience) we went on a cruise in Southeast Asia or the Galapagos". Get my drift?
So anyway, Ms. Wilson has to do something, so she decides she wants to become an ambassador, and somehow gets a job in the American Embassy in Italy. So eager to serve, she states that she could see herself "becoming the ambassador to some small tropical country where I could throw really fun dinner parties with staff". Her work at the embassy must have been exhausting, as "I usually came in around 9:30, the first cappuccino break started at about 10:15", "In addition to the cappuccino breaks, our days were made up of two-hour lunches with Italian businessmen at yummy fish restaurants near the Consulate". Lest you think the poor woman has only the rigors of her job to deal with, she gives a to-do list of things to get done: "write a paper on the Warsaw pact exercise (which would have been fascinating to read, I'll bet her focus was on the tea-cakes served to the leaders); figure out a job in which I can earn money and have fun; become famous". Another list: "when going back to bed for afternoon nap, put full pajamas on, no half assed siesta"; bring full array of eye shadow". No wonder the United States has an image problem in the world's eyes, if this is how our diplomats act.
The author, upon arriving in Italy, falls in love with the very first man she meets. She worms her way into his family (also wealthy) and manages to marry him and have children. Blah, blah, blah.
I really can't decide if the author was trying to be funny, or if she was serious. I'm afraid it was the latter. The only reason that I kept reading the book was because I received it as an advance copy from NetGalley, and I felt an obligation to them to finish it for a review.
There are so many good books coming out, save your time and choose one of them. This one is a waste of time.
 
 

 

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