Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Incontinent on the Continent by Jane Christmas

Jane Christmas, a Canadian journalist in her fifties, writes, "It has been a source of sadness and perplexity that my mother and I have not been able to get along." Ever. On his deathbed, her father requested that Jane make friends with her mother. So, she invited her mother to join her on a 6-week tour of Italy.

This account - subtitled My Mother, Her Walker, and Our Grand Tour of Italy - is witty and candid. Magical scenery, rude men, attractions that were closed (it was early spring), getting lost in labyrinthian medieval streets, unexpected generosity, days of cold rain and disappointing meals... told with upbeat humour, the details add up to a compelling travel story. It is also a touching journey of another sort, as Jane realizes just how frail her mother has become. Even though her mother continues to exasperate her, their bond appears to be stronger by the end of the trip.

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