It is very rare that I get the chance to sit back and allow myself to be taken hostage by a book. Travelling by train across the Riviera, is an experience that really can explode visual expectations. Having travelled from the Italian border through to the far end of the French Riviera on several occasions, gave me the opportunity to sit back and read about the view. After a quick appreciation of the first few pages of introduction, I was into 'Chapter 1 - Darkness and light'. And so it began... 'Beyond the landscape on the first floor, it was dark: pitch-black on black slate stairs. On the first visit to the flat, Angelo from the real estate agency had lit the way with his cigarette lighter.'
It's your turn now... read the book and enjoy. It is an adventure in to the machinations of house buying in Italy, in true Italian style, fused with the most graphic and passionate tales of journeys to far and near towns and villages across two Rivieras. The authoress is Carolyn McKenzie. Carolyn lives in Ventimiglia Alta, where she plays a true part in the community, continues to write and teaches English to eager students.
I was delighted to be invited to her apartment one morning, and felt like I had entered one of the chapters of her book, where she would describe the work that was being done and the sea views from her little terrace that led from her kitchen. Ventimiglia Alta, is a Mediaeval town sitting high above the town of Ventimiglia, close to the border of France.
Life must be so different from her native country of New Zealand but I found that Carolyn had embraced the culture and language to a very high level. I have admiration for the fact that she campaigns to preserve the natural beauty that exists in these parts and her drive to try and abolish the forever mounting piles of dog debris... that interferes with the gentle flow of walking life! Yes, I for one, share this sentiment.
To sweeter things... The book has you so engrossed, each chapter of the book has you craving for the next and if you are indeed reading the book on the train, be careful not to miss your stop.