How often do you look out of the window when everything is going wrong and wish you could start all over again? And then you sigh and decide it’s impossible and you’ll just have to keep on going.
At 26, Clare Pedrick was a successful Sussex journalist with plans for a career in London. But the death of her parents and the end of a long term relationship left her wondering if that was enough anymore. When she saw an advert for a “house for sale in Umbria”, Clare started on a journey which would lead her to resigning from her job and buying an old house in a small village in Italy, against the advice of friends, family and colleagues.
“Chickens Eat Pasta” is a wonderful book. Clare’s love of Italy and the new friends she makes there fill the pages with warmth. The author skilfully demonstrates some of the culture clashes between British and Italian cuisine and customs, but unlike some similar books, there is no sense that the author feels either superior or inferior to her new compatriots. You can sense that real, lasting friendships were formed while Clare learned to fit into her new surroundings without relinquishing her own personality.
In this book, Clare interweaves love stories, her own and those of others around her, locals and ex pats, funny and tragic with the constant thread of her love affair with her new home -the purchase and renovation of the house which “towered imposingly from its position on a knoll overlooking an endless vista of hills and valleys”. She describes how her new friends help protect her against bureaucracy and menace and how she manages against technological odds, to continue her journalistic career in a different way.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who loves travel, humour and a little romance. For anyone who is looking out of that window and wondering what would happen if you started again – this book shows how it worked out for one woman brave enough to find out.