I chose to read this book as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and received a copy from the author. This does not alter my review in any way.
After taking up a job which required this author to pack up and move to Italy, she was then made redundant 15 months later. Naturally this was terribly unsettling and left her unable to return home due to a lack of funds and the fact her own home was rented out. However, Campbell-Kemp is a gregarious character and although her dream of a new life appeared to be over and her belongings and aged Siamese cat had nowhere to go, a friend kindly offered them a home in his tiny, converted barn in his family’s ‘Borgo’. This is a cluster of rustic properties around a late-Medieval manor house and this one is situated in the beautiful Apennines in northern Italy.
This book tells in detail the tale of the move to this new home, and the many explorations, both by car and culinary, undertaken by the author during her stay. She makes more friends and becomes well-known in the area being something of an oddity; a British woman with no husband, who drives too fast, apparently, in a right-hand car and who can speak Italian, as well as several other languages.
Campbell-Kemp writes well and honestly recounts the worries and issues she faced with her health, her lack of funds and the Italian bureaucracy. However, being a resourceful, intelligent woman, she once again finds her fortunes turning as another opportunity presents itself. Although even as this door opens the realisation that her living arrangements cannot continue as they are hits and things are about to change once more.
This memoir is richly descriptive and gives the reader a lot of information about the area, its history, culture, people and of course, mouth-wateringly delicious food. Recommended for all who like to experience different parts of the world from their armchair.