Living in A Foreign Language

Living in A Foreign Language

A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy

Book - 2007
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The actor Michael Tucker and his wife, the actress Jill Eikenberry, having sent their last child off to college, were vacationing in Italy when they happened upon a small cottage nestled in the Umbrian countryside. The three-hundred-fifty-year-old rustico sat perched on a hill in the verdant Spoleto valley amid an olive grove and fruit trees of every kind. For the Tuckers, it was literally love at first sight, and the couple purchased the house without testing the water pressure or checking for signs of termites. Shedding the vestiges of their American life, Michael and Jill endeavored to learn the language, understand the nuances of Italian culture, and build a home in this new chapter of their lives. Both a celebration of a good marriage and a careful study of the nature of home, Living in a Foreign Language is a gorgeous, organic travelogue written with an epicurean's delight in detail and a gourmand's appreciation for all things fine.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780871139627
Characteristics: 255 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

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May 16, 2018

Tucker's story of how he and Eikenberry acquired the 350-year old Italian farmhouse "Rustico" is a love story about Italy and living the good life there. Enjoyable reading, it will make you want to book a flight, and "subito!" The author's pretentiousness that another reader mentions is just how some actors come across. Read carefully and you will see that Tucker's actually quite self-deprecating, with a sense of humor and a full appreciation of his life.

Icicle Apr 07, 2010

I couldn't get past the first few pages - the author seemed so pretentious.

DanniOcean Jun 15, 2009

SPL Shelf Life column Aug. 1, 2008


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DanniOcean Jun 15, 2009

Michael Tucker and his wife Jill Eikenberry are probably best known from their time on LA Law, but about five years ago they gave up their Californian lifestyle to buy a 300-year-old cottage in Spoleto, Umbria, complete with its own olive grove and 400-year-old forno, or outdoor oven.
This memoir is a little about their life in Umbria, a little about their relationship and attempts to learn Italian, a little about the ex-pats and local Italian people that they meet along the way and a lot about the food.
Barely a page goes by without a detailed description of some fantastically simple Italian dish, how it is prepared, its ingredients, how it tastes – the Margherita pizza, the strengozzi al tartufo, the fresh cheese drizzled with chestnut honey – you could gain 20 pounds just from reading this book, and it is sure to have its readers either making reservations for Italian food or for a flight to Italy.
What comes through the most is the author’s near reverence for the freshness of their food and for the gently-passing, conversation-filled meal-times shared with his beloved wife and dear friends, as opposed to the grab-and-gulp frozen meals eaten in North America. Those who have been to Italy will love this book, and for those who just dream of going this book brings it all the way to your door – you can almost smell the mortadella on every page.


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