Leaning Towards Pisa
Bantam, 2005. First edition, first printing. A trade paperback copy in good condition.
'I don't know what triggers are at work to attract people, to inexorably pull one to the other, I only know that at a certain point you give in, you stop thinking about it, and you abandon yourself to whatever lies ahead .' Like so many women, Sue Howard was an expert at juggling a growing tower of work with a shrinking slice of personal life until a stabbing pain in the middle of the night forces her to take stock. After emergency surgery, her doctor orders a reality check - and a long rest. When she is invited to share a house in Italy, Sue suddenly decides that rather than just take a holiday, she'll quit her job for good and take a chance. It's a big decision. There's family, children, even grandchildren, and a relationship, but the lure of the great unknown proves too strong. Once she gets to Italy, the temptation to throw caution to the wind becomes even stronger and she accepts a job teaching English in Pisa. There she slowly but surely falls in love with a place where people know how to really live, where work is work and life is life, to be embraced with gusto every day. As Sue learns not just to speak Italian, but also to think Italian. She falls under the spell of a charming professor who completes her seduction by a country where enjoyment of food and wine is an art form, an afternoon rest almost compulsory and being stressed at work downright impossible; just what the doctor ordered.