Troubador The White Moth

Released: 28/10/2018

ISBN: 9781789015652

eISBN: 9781789012750

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The White Moth

The Story of Three Generations at a Tuscan Villa


The White Moth is an intimate, riveting portrait of life at a farm villa in Tuscany, from the challenging times of fascism and foreign occupation in the 1940s to the idyllic farm-to-table times in the 1970s. A generational saga of longing, loss and displacement, the book is also an American woman’s tribute to her Italian husband and mother-in-law. 

While championing Alda’s courage, optimism and resilience despite heartbreaking loss, the author also celebrates her own idyllic times spent harvesting and falling in love with her friend at his farm villa in the 1970s. The book explores the interconnected stories of three generations of women who marry into the Rafanelli family and reveals the importance of place and the tender relationship between women. It is also the story of the changing roles and status of women and challenges the stereotype of the often maligned role of a mother-in-law.

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. Publication is scheduled for October 28th, 2018.

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Kirkus Reviews

"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 women’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, ’30s, and ’40s. A captivating story about Italian culture, tradition, and long-lasting family connections.”

by Kirkus Reviews

This is a wonderful read and I immersed myself within the story of the women. Strong forceful and at the same time fragile it follows the generations of the women and I absolutely loved it

Quite gripping and highly recommended.

by Tracy Shephard

It is a beautifully written book that just makes you want to stay and read more. You just can’t put it down.

Based in Tuscany 3 generations of women who live together- strong characters and a wonderful plot.

by C. Thomas

Camilla Calhoun

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.

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