"A Thousand Days In Venice"

A Thousand Days In Venice by Marlena De Blasi

The authour was on vacation in Venice when she met a stranger named Fernando. Barely knowing one another, but suddenly and deeply in love, they made plans for her to sell her home, quit her job, and leave her life and grown children behind in America. She would move to Venice into his tiny, shabby apartment, and they would marry and start a new life together.  

The story includes all the usual moving-to-a-foreign-place problems with government red tape, a new language to learn, cultural missteps, etc, but the heart of the story is the whirlwind romance. Romance stories have never been my cup of tea but in this one the authour wrote a lot about the people, streets and shops of Venice and for me that made it worthwhile. I didn't love it, but I didn't dislike it either.

This little book gives the reader only a small slice of their overall story; it ends as they are at another beginning. They renovated the Venetian apartment and got married, and the book was winding down when Fernando decided to quit his job. They sold the apartment, bought an inn and prepared to become innkeepers in another part of Italy, then the story ended. It didn't feel right stopping there but the title gives fair warning so I shouldn't have been disappointed.

Marlena De Blasi is an accomplished chef as well as a writer and has filled the last chapter with recipes from her time in Venice. I always appreciate a travel book more when it includes recipes, but here they are all clumped together at the end and it would have been nicer if they'd been sprinkled throughout and included as part of whatever story they belonged to.

All in all A Thousand Days In Venice was just ok for me. It was an entertaining interlude between other books, but I'm afraid I found it less than memorable.


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