Sunday, May 17, 2009

A House in Fez

The shelf was lined with several books of my favourite theme - people buying a house in a new country and the cacophony and confusion that follows. However, it seemed like Tuscany and Provence were the most sought after places. It got me wondering if these authors stumbled upon each other at some point of time. Anyway, amongst a mire of vineyards and valleys, I caught sight of 'A house in Fez' where the author was re-doing a house in Fez, Morocco. My interest was sufficiently piqued.

The theme is well known – Suzanna Clark (author) after visiting Fez just once falls in love. With the place. And so, she and her husband decide to buy a Riad (the Moroccan word for one kind of a bungalow) here. The story is all about the people she meets in the process of restoration. The book was an easy read. I loved Morocco as a setting. The cafe's she discovers, the traditions, the shops she goes looking for – in search of doors, windows and whatever else that goes into making homes. Of course, the quirks of the local people as well. Morocco has now fallen into my travel radar as a result of this book.

However, I did think that her style of writing was somewhat lacking. It wasn't somehow the most interesting narrative from a point of view of judging a written account per se - the words themself and her narration of events or feelings or experiences were somehow not the most evocative account i've read. Nevertheless, a reasonable nice read!

10 comments:

Suzanna Clarke said...

Thank you for your kind words. One question! Where did you find the book? Was it in India? So far it has been published in Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK and Korea.

Suzanna

Trotter said...

Hi Ms. N! Sorry for the absence, but I’ve been busy with my parents’ health; almost 180 years to care... ;)
Provence and Tuscany are the favourites, but Fez and Portugal also have some cultors... ;)

Blogtrotter is paying homage to Vilnius as European Capital of Culture 2009 and waits for your comments. ;) Hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!

Sriram P said...

whats with you and Tuscanny girl? ;-) .. Morocco.. nice.. i would also love to go there.. Casablanca.. to see Rick's gin joint.. ;-) ..

Ms.N said...

@Suzanna,

i am surprised to see u come across my blog this quick! thanks for leaving a comment.

@Trotter - aaah. the feedback of a well travelled traveller. sadly, i cant comment with such authority!
will chk vilnius out!

@ Sriram - btw, there is nothing with me and tuscany. but there is something with travellers and authors and home-buyers and tuscany !!! u r th guy who has been there - so u shd tell me whats with the place!!

Sriram P said...

i made that remark bcos i think i read few prev. blogs of you about tuscanny.. so wondered what is it that attracts u so much .. :-D).. I couldnt possibly say i ve been there.. just passed thro the country side by train.. but would like to go explore the region one day with leisure and enjoy the wine and good food.. :) .. all i can say chianti classico wine from that region is very good .. ;-)

Anil P said...

Reminds me of the wonderfully visual movie I saw Under the Tuscan Sun, I didn't read the book it was based on though.

Anonymous said...
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Ms.N said...

@ Anil.. yea- i've seen the movie too and loved it!

@ sriram - will keep that tip in mind. and yes, the world seems to be obsessed with Tuscany!

Ram said...

Yes, Frances Mayes did this in her very popular "Under the Tuscan Sun." But a lesser known book that I highly recommend (an anthology of travel stories really) is one called "A House Somewhere." Different authors write about places they have lived in, and how it shaped them.

Ms.N said...

@ Ram... yep - a house somewhere is on my list...