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Title: Chickens Eat Pasta : Escape To Umbria
Author: Clare Pedrick
Genre: Autobiography, Memoirs
This book is an autobiography of the author, Clare Pedrick. Now, I don't usually read autobiographies; it is not my cup of tea but this one particularly interested me. The title is catchy enough but other than that, the mere mention of Italy, particularly the rural side, made me want to read it.
Just out of a relationship, the author is looking for a change from her boring routine in England. She watches a chicken eating spaghetti on TV (hence the title) and when in the newspaper she finds Italian properties for sale, she decides to move to the village, Umbria, in Italy. She resigns her job and travels to Italy. She buys a ruin of a house there and goes on to develop it. The book talks about the challenges she faces as an outsider while renovating her house and how she deals with the rural Italian people. Although it takes time, she begins to adjust to the Italian customs and ends up making many new friends there, who help her in many ways. She also manages to get back to her journalism career. During her time there, she falls in love with an Italian and goes on to marry him, with whom she is now happily settled in Italy.
For an autobiography, I didn't expect it to be this good. I had to remind myself that it was not a work of fiction! The story travels in various timelines but the writing is flowy and smooth, nevertheless. Italy comes alive, especially the rural part, which the author successfully paints in great detail for us. The green hills and scenic beauty is beautifully described in the book. The way of life of the rural Italians in the 80's is described well although I am not sure if it remains the same today.
Overall, a well written book that transports you to Italy and surrounds you with the nitty gritties of the author's life back then. A nice, cozy read that I recommend.