Today’s team review is from Georgia.
Georgia blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com
Georgia has been reading Tales From The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp
After taking up a job which required this author to pack up and move to Italy, she was then made redundant 15 months later. Naturally this was terribly unsettling and left her unable to return home due to a lack of funds and the fact her own home was rented out. However, Campbell-Kemp is a gregarious character and although her dream of a new life appeared to be over and her belongings and aged Siamese cat had nowhere to go, a friend kindly offered them a home in his tiny converted barn in his family’s ‘Borgo’. This is a cluster of rustic properties around a late-Medieval manor house and this one is situated in the beautiful Apennines in northern Italy.
This book tells in detail the tale of the move to this new home, and the many explorations, both by car and culinary, undertaken by the author during her stay. She makes more friends and becomes well-known in the area being something of an oddity; a British woman with no husband, who drives too fast, apparently, in a right-hand car and who can speak Italian, as well as several other languages.
Campbell-Kemp writes well and honestly recounts the worries and issues she faced with her health, her lack of funds and the Italian bureaucracy. However, being a resourceful, intelligent woman, she once again finds her fortunes turning as another opportunity presents itself. Although even as this door opens the realisation that her living arrangements cannot continue as they are hits and things are about to change once more.
This memoir is richly descriptive and gives the reader a lot of information about the area, its history, culture, people and of course, mouth-wateringly delicious food. Recommended for all who like to experience different parts of the world from their armchair.
At the age of 61, Cassandra, a single and peripatetic Brit, was asked to pack up her house and move to Italy to take up the offer of a much-needed job. 15 months later she was made redundant, leaving her unnerved, broke and unable to return home. Her dream of a new life was rapidly turning into a nightmare and, saddled with all her belongings, her antique furniture, over 800 books and her aged Siamese cat she had nowhere to go.
A kind friend offered them sanctuary in a tiny converted former barn in his family’s ‘Borgo’, a cluster of rustic properties grouped around a late-Medieval manor House in the mountains; the beautiful and mysterious Emilian Appenines of northern Italy. There she was befriended and watched over by the owner; an eccentric octogenarian, his household ghosts and 14 semi feral cats.
The experience proved to be challenging yet deeply transformative as she struggled to recover her equilibrium and rebuild her life.