"intelligent and insightful" - "Funny and Poignant"
In this travelogue of self-discovery, Jane Christmas brings her wickedly irreverent style to a new mother-daughter experience
Since the beginning of time, mothers and daughters have had notoriously fraught relationships. "Show me a mother who says she has a good or great relationship with her daughter," Jane Christmas writes, "and I'll show you a daughter who is in therapy trying to understand how it all went so horribly wrong."
To smooth over five decades of constant clashing, Christmas takes her arthritic, incontinent, and domineering mother, Valeria-a cross between Queen Victoria and Hyacinth Bucket of the British comedy Keeping Up Appearances-on a tour of Italy.
Neither has been to Italy before, but both are fans of ancient art, architecture, and history. Will gazing at the fruits of the Italian Renaissance be enough to spark a renaissance in their relationship? As they wander along the winding Amalfi Coast, traverse St. Peter's Square in Rome, and sample the wines of Tuscany-walkers, biscuits, shawls, and medications in tow-they revisit the bickering and bitterness of years past and reassess who they are and how they might reconcile their differences.
Unflinching and frequently hilarious, Incontinent on the Continent will speak to all women who have tried to make friends with their mothers.
"Her style is equal parts Nora Ephron and Bill Bryson."-Quill and Quire
I really loved this book. Besides deftly exploring that minefield that can be a mother-daughter 'no man's land', this book gave me a glimpse into modern-day travel to ancient Italy. No, it wasn't a glimpse, I was there - I was a back-seat passenger on this life-altering journey. I saw the fields, the caves, the ancient trulli, the architecture and I felt Mom's barbs. "What about your hair?" had a particlar resonance. I heartily endorse this book for some laugh-out-loud moments along with 'fly on the wall' instant therapy. If this intrepid duo gets wanderlust again, can I carry the luggage? Thanks for letting me share your journey. A great read!
I picked up this book looking for possible pointers on travelling to Europe with my own mother and her walker. I could not put the book down, I could relate so easily to the author's situation and frustration and underlying love for her mother despite a somewhat difficult relationship. By the time I had finished this book, I had to run out to get Jane's previous book, "What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim". Thoroughly enjoyable read.
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