Admittedly, I am not one to promote anything. In fact, I hate it when people try to sell me something, which I know is a bit odd coming from someone who used to work in Advertising. Perhaps because I could see through all the tricks, I had an inside look at how we are roped into buying a lot of crap we don’t need. But sometimes we should just be whimsical and buy it because it makes us happy. I recently created a, Help! I live with my Italian mother in law coffee mug, on Zazzle and sent a few to my dad. In the future, I hope to add them to this blog just for the fun of it. But here’s what I really want to promote…a book.
I have read quite a few stories about people moving to Italy and trying to make it work. Although these stories are nice, I started to think they all followed the same formula so I had lost my interest in reading anything else in this genre. Recently, a woman was pushing her new book on a group I belong to on Facebook. She was honestly becoming a bit annoying and then she was offering the ebook for free to get some reviews. I decided, what the heck, I’ll give it a look.
The book was worse than awful and I hated it so much I couldn’t even bear to write a review for fear of crushing this poor woman’s soul. Then someone else started to flog their new book in the same social media. My first thought was here we go again and so I ignored the posts. But the writer did intrigue me because she is also an artist and inn keeper so I kept her in my newsfeed.
For Christmas, Elora gave this woman’s book to me as a Christmas gift. “True Vines” is beautifully written and a delightful read. It touched on emotions I myself could relate to being an expat and married to someone from a completely different culture than me. The self doubts and never having a complete sense of belonging left me looking at my own experiences in Italy and provided answers to those burning questions.
Every character is true to their flaws and sense of self. There is a purity in the characters that doesn’t require paragraphs of description or explanation. You just get who is who and what makes them tick on the simplest level and let the story carry you through their journey of life and death.
So, in a nutshell, I’m promoting this book. It is by far one of the best and most accurate I have read yet. It doesn’t bog you down with the flaws in the Italian system or the backwards way in which things are done here. It brings you deeper into the richness of family and community and tradition. It brings you into present day situations and how we all teeter between failure and success. That family and friends may have their own agendas but that in the end they are there for you when you need them most.