Marcus of Umbria: Book Review and Giveaway

Marcus of Umbria

I really enjoyed reading this book.  I mean, I enjoyed it so much that I read it twice.

Marcus of Umbria written by Justine van der Leun is about a young American woman (the author) who moves to a small village in Italy and falls in love, but not in the way you would think.

I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would.  I’m always excited at the idea of an Italian memoir (or any book with an Italian theme) but most times I’m disappointed.  This book, however, does more than just encompass all things Italian – travel, food, family, and love.  This book takes things further and really focuses on the author’s experiences, her journey, her mistakes, and her discoveries.  It becomes more than the author’s observations of a foreign lifestyle, but also how she fits (or doesn’t fit) into it.

This book is cleverly written and I love that it doesn’t sugar coat life in Italy like so many other books.  Don’t get me wrong, Italy is a beautiful place with a beautiful culture but even the most beautiful things have their not so pleasing side.  The honesty in this book is both comforting and refreshing.  Her description of this small village at times reminded me so much of my own village.  It had me laughing out loud at the silly similarities that those of us who have spent time in a small Italian village could really understand and relate to.

I think this book is a must read for all Italophiles and I am so pleased to have the opportunity to share this wonderful book with my readers.

If you are interested in reading this gem, here’s what you need to do:

It’s really simple, just leave a comment on this post (don’t forget to include your e-mail address) by 12:00am (Italy time) Sunday, March 13, 2011 with the answer to this question:

Have you ever thought about running away to Italy?  Where would you go and why?

The winner will be selected randomly and contacted on Monday, March 14th via e-mail.

Good Luck!

  1. ikkinlala

    March 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I’ve never seriously thought about running away to Italy, but if I did I’d go somewhere coastal (for the maximum difference from where I currently live).

  2. Kathy Singer

    March 4, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I think about running away to Italy all the time, and should I ever choose that winning lottery number it will happen. There are so many beautiful areas it would be hard to choose, but I think along the coast either up near Liguria or around Calabria or Campania. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Italy 2 times, once when I was to young to appreciate it, and the second time when I didn’t want to leave. I will put this book on my list even, should I be the lucky one, great, if not I will request if from my local library….read it and keep dreaming! I read several “living in Italy” blogs and love them, it’s so much fun to live vicariously through those who have taken the plunge and moved over…I am jealous! Thanks for giving us this chance on the book.

  3. Marcy Gordon

    March 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I did run away to Italy. And I ran away to Umbria. Although the next time I run-away to Italy it will be to Sicily. Actually, this book is on my list and I was just about to buy it, but saw the tweet for the contest so I’ll give myself a chance here first! Thanks.

  4. Lori

    March 1, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I have never thought of running away to anywhere. I would love to go and visit Italy though. I am a beach girl so I would travel all along the coast of Italy and discover all the wonderful beaches. My husband was born in Abruzzo so we would have to visit there so I can see where he grew up.

  5. italianmamachef

    March 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Oh if I don’t win I’m going to have to check this out from my local library. I would run away to Molise and visit my ancestoral village in Campolieto. Molise is not a touristy area and I think I can find the genuine Italian lifestyle there, the one I want to discover. Not saying they aren’t authentic in other places, but the tourist areas don’t appeal to me as much as the smaller village types of places. Thanks for the contest.

  6. Amy

    March 1, 2011 at 6:36 am

    I think about running away to Italy at least once a day. I’m not sure where I’d go; all I know is that I need to be near water, so likely I would head to one of the lakes or go somewhere near the sea. Alas, with a husband, three kids, a mortgage and a minivan, I haven’t booked the flight just yet …

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