This book is part of our FALL READING CHALLENGE. Read more about our challenge here.
A Place in the World is many things—all of them beautiful, rich, and restorative. It is a welcome escape, a travel memoir in Italy, the South, and beyond, a contemplation on place and finding home wherever you are. It is immersive nature writing, a paean to literature, to food, family and friends. There is deep satisfaction here, an enviable pleasure for the life Frances Mayes puts forth and a renewed appreciation of my own. This book is a balm.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A lyrical and evocative collection of personal stories from the author of Under the Tuscan Sun, in which the queen of wanderlust reflects on the comforts of home.
Veranda Book Club Pick • “A soulful meditation on ‘what home means, how it hooks the past and pushes into the future’ . . . spellbinding.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Though Frances Mayes is known for her travels, she has always sought a sense of home wherever she goes. In this poetic testament to the power of place in our lives, Mayes reflects on the idea of home, from the earliest imprint of four walls to the startling discoveries of feeling the strange ease of homes abroad, friends’ homes, and even momentary homes that spark desires for other lives. Her musings are all the more poignant after so many have spent their long pandemic months at home. From her travels across Italy—Tuscany, of course, but also Venice and Capri—to the American South, France, and Mexico, Mayes examines the connective tissue among them through the homes she’s inhabited.
A Place in the World explores Mayes’s passion and obsessions with houses and the things that inhabit them—old books, rich food, beloved friends, transportive art. The indelible marks each refuge has left on her and how each home influenced the next serve as the foundations of its chapters.
Written in Mayes’s signature intimate style, A Place in the World captures the adventure of moving on while seeking comfort in the cornerstone closest to all of us—home.
About the Author
Frances Mayes is the author of the classic Under the Tuscan Sun, which was a New York Times bestseller for more than two and a half years and became a movie starring Diane Lane. Her other international bestsellers include Bella Tuscany,Every Day in Tuscany, A Year in the World, and three illustrated books: In Tuscany,Bringing Tuscany Home, and The Tuscan Sun Cookbook. Mayes is also the author of two novels, Swan and Women in Sunlight, six books of poetry, and The Discovery of Poetry. Her most recent books are See You in the Piazza and Always Italy. Frances Mayes’s writing has been translated into more than fifty languages.
“Personal, warm, and lovely . . . a charming read.”—Garden & Gun
“A Place in the World is an homage of sorts to the South, where [Mayes] grew up. . . . The experience is both a homecoming and a reckoning with the past.”—The Washington Post
“Sparkling . . . There are so many lovely descriptions of Mayes’ houses in A Place in the World, but this is not a book about buildings . . . It’s about the concept of home, that intangible thing . . . It’s a whirlwind home tour and homage to friendship . . . A beautiful, thought-provoking read.”—BookPage, (starred review)
“Mayes delivers a soulful meditation on ‘what home means, how it hooks the past and pushes into the future’ in her spellbinding latest. She examines the question through an evocative tour of her homes. . . . This rich testament to the pleasures of wanderlust and permanence is a gift.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Vivid and heartfelt . . . [Mayes’] writing is infused with this rare communal quality. A Place in the World is certainly a charming and tasteful anthology of particular spaces, but it is so much more.”—Bookreporter
“Another lush account of family and place . . . The writing is characteristically intimate, as if she is sharing her thoughts and feelings with a dear friend, and she employs eloquent and detailed descriptions, creating a wonderful sense of place. A can’t-miss hit for Mayes fans.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Mayes, known for her wanderlust, stops and takes into consideration a place key in people’s lives. In her essays, [she] examines the concept of home and how people gravitate to the places and people that mean the most, even in a foreign landscape.”—Library Journal