In her book, Incontinent on the Continent, Jane Christmas tells the story of her first time ever to Italy – a country that she had dreamed of often throughout her life as a place of large families, matriarchs, good food, and love of life – in short, a movie. In an attempt to fix a broken relationship with her aging mother, she brings her mother along on the trip.
I have to admit, up until the last chapter of the book, I would’ve given the book two stars. For a majority of it, Jane Christmas complains about how Italy doesn’t live up to her expectations and the difficulties of managing a disabled mother in accessible-unfriendly Italy. Her constant allusions of mother-daughter pairs she sees on the road or town attitudes or statues to her own relationship with her mother were at best awkwardly paced and reflected upon. But the last chapter makes much of the whining worth it. The book also touches upon the soul and history of many of Italy’s touristic gems, so if you want a rough and tumble look at what it is like to travel in Italy, plus a little bit of familial reflection on the side, this is the book for you.