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Ratings and Reviews (3 4 star ratings
3 reviews

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    Loved this story~ A very unique storyline with a great romance, a bit of humor, and some exceptional descriptive writing that brought Italy to life. These characters were incredibly fun and made the story unforgettable. Mamie is dreading going on the tour of Tuscany for her job. Luckily she's there with a group of aging hippies who all attended Woodstock and might be a little stuck in the 60's making the whole thing intriguing with their stories. Add to that Julian, the tour guide, who Mamie finds herself attracted to and the whole tour is better than she imagined it would be. Definitely a book I recommend to everyone.
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    A lovely, picturesque journey through Tuscany that brings together two lost souls in need of a change in life who find out that some of the best, most life filled adventures could be those that does not challenge you physically yet still scares you immensely. When this book was first introduced to me, the blurb that accompanied the invitation reminded me of a movie 'Under the Tuscan Sun'. That movie touched my heart and was an inspirational experience to me, so I was eager to read this book to see if it could be as riveting and thought-provoking, even life-changing as the movie was to me. The pleasant flow of the story with expressive writing makes it enjoyable to read the sweet story that is appropriate for all ages. The scenery from the tour in Italy opened up in my mind's eyes, and the beautiful, colorful landscapes were vividly clear in my mind. To visit Italy again, even via the story, was such a pleasure. The views, the attractions, the people, the lifestyle, the food, the smells, the chaos of traffic, and the joie de vivre of the locals filled my senses making me smile. The cast of characters on this journey were jovial, genuine, and true individuals. They seemed to have left their worries behind, and were just enjoying the moment, the company and everything the trip would offer them. Mamie Weber was escaping her past, the grief of losing her family and trying to learn to embrace life again, to challenge herself both physically and mentally, to be out there, be vulnerable, to be brave, and to learn to trust again, not only others but herself as well. Julian is in mourning as well. His regrets from his past, adventure-filled life are hunting his sleep and mind. He leans on his new job's rules and regulations to have control in his life, a control that Mamie challenges with her own attempts to live fully again. The journey is a sweet, delightful ride, filled with emotions from bliss and glee to angst and tears. The biggest challenge both Mamie and Julian have to face is their past and the fears that spring from the memories. After such an enjoyable expedition with the unique characters, the abrupt ending felt odd, leaving me wanting more in a sense of conclusion. A pilgrimage to find your true self again, to learn to trust and embrace life fully, while enjoying the gorgeous scenery of Tuscany. An entertaining and charming tale with a smooth, easygoing flow ~ Four Spoons
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    Woodstock Wanders Tour Italy

    Favorite Quotes: My cab ride from the airport was like the chase scene in The French Connection. “Jeesh, Prince Charming, is that a sword in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” … “I don’t remember Cinderella being this sarcastic.” You’ve shown me the most extraordinary pleasures from the most ordinary days. Now let’s try the unexpected together.” My Review: The Sweet Life had a unique and interesting premise as it chronicled a Woodstock survivors group – who called themselves The Wanderers - traveling through Tuscany on a tour. In addition to an entertaining story, I was treated to a well-detailed travel log with a taunting accounting of their mouthwatering menus and delectable treats. I had several urges to renew my passport while reading - just to see David again might be worth the horrific flight. The characters were a quirky grouping of senior travelers, a middle-aged woman named Mamie who popped up unexpectedly as a substitute passenger. Mamie had a secret about her substitution, one she was legally prohibited from disclosing, which caused her discomfort. The primary and secondary characters were likable and colorfully detailed. Ms. Struth’s storyline was mild enough for my elderly mother’s book club, easy to follow, and alternated from angsty to sweet with occasional hits of humor.

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