The Last Supper

The Last Supper

A Summer in Italy

Book - 2009
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Casting off a northern winter and an orderly life, a family decides to sell everything and go to Italy to search for art and its meanings, for freedom from routine, for a different path into the future. The award-winning writer Rachel Cusk describes a three-month journey around the Italy of Raphael and rented villas, of the Piero della Francesca trail and the tourist furnace of Amalfi, of soccer and the simple glories of pasta and gelato.With her husband and two children, Cusk uncovers the mystery of a foreign language, the perils and pleasures of unbelonging, and the startling thrill of discovery-at once historic and intimate. Both sharp and humane in its exploration of the desire to travel and to escape, of art and its inspirations, of beauty and ugliness, and of the challenge of balancing domestic life with creativity, The Last Supper is an astonishing memoir.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780374184032
Branch Call Number: ANF 945 CUS
Characteristics: x, 239 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


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Nov 20, 2015

I liked this book. It is beautifully written and an enjoyable read. However, as is often true with Cusk, one is suspect that such a short period of time (12 weeks) can be so transformative.

Jul 10, 2012

As a die-hard travel lit reader, particularly about travel to Italy, I was disappointed by this book. It was boring and lifeless, and though Cusk's prose is lovely, the story seemed very impersonal (I whole-heartedly agree with the strangeness of the the unnamed husband and children). If this book leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth toward travel writing or Italy, I would recommend "Four Seasons in Rome" by Anthony Doerr. Much more engaging and personal.

Jan 23, 2011

Well written yet peculiarly baffling for a travel memoir. The author spends an inordinate amount of time cleverly expressing her contempt towards tourists and others she met during her three month escape in Italy with her husband and two children. The author can certainly turn a phrase, however, the disdain she evidently has for much of the world spoiled the book for me.

Nov 21, 2010

First travel-lit book about Italy that I found bland and joyless. Ironic considering it describes the author's "quixotic" journey to discover beauty. It certainly can't be found in her writing. This is a personal story - even though she brings her two daughters and her husband along, they remain nameless and faceless. Two sections - A Game of Tennis and GianFranco's Store were terrific because they described some local characters and added some colour to the story. I took offence to her unabashed snobbery describing tourists visiting Italy. How could an author discovering the world make such horrible generalizations about people?

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