Camilla Calhoun left her job at a museum in New York City to follow her dream of living and writing in Italy. During the four years at her friend Aldo Rafanelli's Tuscan villa, she harvested grapes and olives, sowed wheat, wrote essays, and ran a flower shop in Florence. She and Aldo eventually married and they had their first child before moving back to New York. Ever interested in the connection to and loss of place, she is currently working on a historical novel based on her published essay, A Town Called Olive, about ancestors uprooted by the building of the Ashokan Reservoir, the source of New York City's drinking water. More recently she wrote a collection of essays about the love and loss of her husband, Aldo, in 2016. She lives in Tarrytown, New York, with a view of the Hudson River.
The White Moth is an intimate, textured portrait of three generations living on a farm villa in Tuscany from the challenging times of the 1930s through WWII to the idyllic times experienced by the author in the 1970s. A compelling love story that vividly recreates life in Florence and rural Tuscany, it also celebrates living farm-to-table before the term was coined. While championing the courageous spirit of her Italian mother-in-law, Alda, the interwoven narrative reveals tender relationships between women and their evolving roles. This book will appeal to readers fascinated by Tuscany and Italian history. Published October 28th, 2018.
Online wordpress blogger "Bookish Rita" Jan. 2019 review:
"Throughout this book, the author effectively makes use of her dual-timeline structure to provide a detailed account of the lives of two women in the same family. With evocative descriptions of decadent Italian meals and lush vegetation, Calhoun tells her tale in a compelling manner that will keep readers turning pages and rooting for the womenÃ¢â¬â¢s success as their respective lives are revealed. Her depictions of the Tuscan countryside are particularly vivid and engaging. She also provides accessible details about the political upheaval in Italy in the 1920s, Ã¢â¬â¢30s, and Ã¢â¬â¢40s. A captivating story about Italian culture, tradition, and long-lasting family connections.Ã¢â¬Â -Kirkus Reviews