“The tiny stone house sits tucked into the side of the hill so that our bedroom window isn’t exposed to the early rays of the sun, but that morning I was up with the first soft light in the sky. I had slept the sleep of the sated. Perhaps the three glasses of grappa at the end of dinner had helped a bit with that. Along with the bottomless pitcher of the local red wine that went down so easily with the wood-grilled lamb and the fried potatoes. God, those potatoes. Maybe it was all a dream; I never eat potatoes after a big bowl of pasta. Not in the same meal. Not in real life.”
For anyone who loves to savor the joys that fresh, well-prepared food has to offer, Living in a Foreign Language will make you yearn for the Italian countryside as you salivate with longing for the culinary experiences shared by Michael Tucker and his actress wife. In the early years of this new millennium, Tucker finally gets his wish. His wife, Jill Eikenberry, gives him the go-ahead to purchase a home in Umbria, and their lives have never been the same since. Living in a Foreign Language is Tucker’s memoir of the couple’s lives during the purchase and renovation of their beloved Italian country home, and the way that purchase helped to change the direction of their personal and professional lives.
Tucker is funny, honest and totally himself in this treasure of a book. I loved his experiences in Italy – the food, the wine, the friends and the countryside. It’s a lot like sitting with someone and having them tell you a good story. Don’t expect historical background or vivid prose-like descriptions. Do expect Tucker’s own language – the “f” bombs scattered across the pages, apparently come with the story and the man.
3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2007