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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Making it Home

Guest Poster: Chris Manganaro

Do you think you could easily make a foreign country your home? The meaning of home differs for everyone. Some people have lived in one place their whole lives, while others have had many homes. Home depends largely on your point of view. If you are willing to work on it, anywhere can be home.
In Michael Tucker's book, Living in a Foreign Language: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy, we learn about the authors own exploits in moving to Italy. His wife has one view of home while he holds another. This is but one way in which the book addresses the feeling of home. His wife, Jill, is against his idea of buying a house in Italy because she has raised a family in their house. To her, home is a permanent thing, while Tucker sees it more as a base of operations. To him, it changes along with where he needs to be. They both end up coming to an agreement on a house in Italy when they fall in love with a particular one that they more or less luckily stumble upon.
After buying the house, they end up renovating it. Due to the challenges of renovation, they end up questioning several times whether it is necessary. Eventually the house does get renovated, but whether or not it is necessary remains debatable. If they were so charmed by the original house, was a pool so important? Either way, it all comes down to being comfortable in your own home.
Aside from the physical house, there is also the outside world to contend with. In the case of Michael and Jill, this means dealing with a whole new culture and language. Throughout the book we see them trying to learn and slowly adjusting to their new space. By the end, they are not completely acclimated, but we see that it takes time and effort to make a new place into the right fit to be called home.
This book does not go too deeply into the idea of what home is, but it does present the ideas properly. If you take the time to think about these ideas more deeply, it makes the book a little bit more interesting.

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