Book: Imperfect Pairings by Jackie Townsendcategories: Book, Italy, Culture, Relationships, Marriage, Love, Chick Lit, Travel, Wine, Italian Food, Women's Fiction
Jackie Townsendabout this book: I am sixteen years married to an Italian who came to the U.S.for university and stayed. I got tired hearing all the oohs and ahs, "Oh you're married to an Italian,how wonderful!" It's so much more complex than that, and I wanted to dispel the notion of the romantic Italian love story, but in a real and true way, which means also dispelling the romanticism of relationships. This is a couple dealing with real issues and real life, and learning to love each other even more in the midst of all that. It took me much longer than Jamie though, to truly open myself up to my Italian family. Part of my writing the book, is homage to that, and them.
Imperfect Pairings goes beyond the cultural stereotypes of an American woman in Italy. Two examples of this are Eat, Pray, Love, and La Bella Tuscany. Both are wonderful books. My book is neither. Regarding the first, in Rome, Elizabeth Gilbert wanders around on the outside looking in. Jamie, in Imperfect Pairings, flounders about on the inside looking out. Gilbert spends her time in Rome scouring back alleys for the best restaurants. Jamie never eats out in Italy except once because meals in Italy are eaten at home with the family. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, no exceptions. One p.m. for lunch, eight p.m. for dinner. Why go out to eat, when the food and company is so fabulous at home? Gilbert gets all the stereotypical nuance right—endearing, quirky—like the young men outside the bakery shop eating fresh cornetti instead of being at some bar getting wasted; the football fanaticism; the accents and gestures, the PIZZA. BUT Italy and its people are so much more than those things.
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