Marlena de Blasi– A Thousand Days in Venice (2003)
Marlena is an American chef and travelling food writer who tells her fairytale love story about falling in love with a Venetian and the city itself. When Fernando catches a glimpse of Marlena in a Venetian café he knows instantly she is The One. Marlena is taken by surprise, by this man she calls The Stranger and becomes immediately drawn into his zealousness. A short time later, Marlena has sold her house, left her job and parted from her adult children to marry her stranger.
He speaks a different language and lives a simplistic life led by routine. Marlena’s lifestyle is filled with passion and creativity and she makes her mark at every opportunity she can whether it is renovating a Venetian apartment or cooking for friends. Despite their differences, Marlena and Fernando’s’ relationship evolves into a complimentary dyad that is both simplistic yet complex.
The story is interwoven with mouthwatering recipes and hints at de Blasi’s struggle to keep her identity in a new relationship within a foreign country.
Although it took me a good chunk of the book to really get into this story, when I did I was captured by not only the romance but also a real insight into the Venetian culture and the joining of two separate lives. A Thousand Days in Venice is a charming story about accepting differences and building on ones strengths. I definitely recommend this read and I will surely read the sequels.