December 18, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

The Hills of Tuscany: A New Life in an Old Land

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Ferenc Mate
publisher
W.W. Norton
genre
Nonfiction, Travel
We gave it a C

The Hills of Tuscany: A New Life in an Old Land tells the tale of an artsy New York-based couple’s moves to Tuscany to buy and refurbish a spectacular ancient stone house complete with gardens, olive groves, and views — and deal with many minor setbacks even as they dawdle over four-course lunches and entertain visitors. Sound familiar? Actually, and unfortunately, you’ll hardly confuse Ference Máté’s version of This Old World House with Frances Mayes’ best-selling Under the Tuscan Sun. While Mayes’ entrancing descriptions invited readers into the daily rhythms of her life, Máté’s awkward, purplish prose demands that you view his experience at arm’s length. C

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