An autobiographical tale, we begin when the recently divorced author purchases an abandoned villa in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, in Cortona, with the dream of returning it to former glory and to carve out a new life. A fantasy of many, how she struggles to live out her idyllic Tuscan ambition is a riveting and heartwarming journey, leading us to appreciate her love for the simple pleasures of great quality local food, and the pleasant company of neighbours. While restoring her newly acquired home, she discovers centuries-old frescoes hidden beneath the paintwork, and a vineyard buried beneath the wild overgrowth. Her trips to the bustling nearby markets and how she learns to communicate with locals, ultimately being embraced by the community, is a joyful and uplifting read, filled with the delights of ordinary Tuscan life. A 2003 film adaptation was written, produced and directed by Audrey Wells and starred Diane Lane.