"A House In Sicily"

A House In Sicily by Daphne Phelps

It's been a while since I read an I-left-it-all-and-moved-to-Italy book. This one proved to be quite different in that the author had no intention of staying - she was there only to settle her uncle's estate and sell his house. But the house, the country and the people all grew on her, and when she found a way to make it work financially, she decided to stay.

The house, Casa Cuseni, is the main character in this story. The cast of characters is large, with changing staff, guests (paying and otherwise), neighbours, friends and family all contributing to Casa Cuseni's story. There are a few pictures in the center of the book, but I wish there was more description of the house. I know it was beautiful, but I want to know how it was beautiful.

If you're a fan of this genre I think you'll find this one interesting. The author took up residence just after world war two, when times were hard, and money and supplies scarce, so it's quite different than the usual story of well-to-do people simply choosing a more exotic place to live. She had no money of her own, which meant a lot of compromising and making-do, an aspect of the story that was particularly refreshing to me.

Daphne got involved in the lives of the locals around her and had many visitors coming and going, some as paying guests to help with the expenses of the property. She's an interesting character herself so her stories are fun to read. As travel books go, this is one of the better ones. Hope you enjoy it too!



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