I read ‘Cucina Tipica’ for Rosie’s Book Review Team.
Escaping to Italy was the easy part. Figuring out how to stay forever is where the adventure begins…
When disheartened American Jacoby Pines arrives in Italy on vacation, he has no idea that a family photograph from the previous century would start a search for ancestry through the streets of Florence and the hills of Tuscany.
Jacoby’s quest includes encounters with a septuagenarian ex-pat, an elusive heiress in hiding, a charming Australian museum guide, a Pearl Jam-crazed artisan shoemaker, malevolent hunters, a needy border collie and one very large wild boar. Along the way there are magnificent, wine-soaked meals at every turn and immersion in the sensory splendor and la dolce vita of Il Bel Paese.
At the end of the novel, on the morning of Jacoby’s dreaded return to America, a chance of remaining in Italy arrives in stunning news from abroad. But is it too late?
I’ve only visited Italy once, a few days in Rome followed by a week by the sea down the coast from Naples. It was a fabulous holiday – it isn’t clichéd to say the people are incredibly friendly, the weather is fabulous, the scenery stunning and as for the food, it’s wonderful. So this book, although set in a different part of Italy, had a lot that appealed and that was enjoyable.#
I love my food, and some of the descriptions of the meals were wonderful. And the descriptions of the countryside and the people really made you feel as though you were there. The author can certainly write, and write well, and this would be a lovely book to take on holiday.
That said, the descriptions did begin to wear a little thin after a while and, to be honest, the book could be a great deal shorter. I didn’t feel that invested in the characters, and there were a couple that I didn’t like at all. I do think the book would be improved with less detail about the food and more depth to the characters.
That said, it’s an enjoyable read.