Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Book Review - Chickens Eat Pasta: Escape to Umbria by Clare Pedrick

Amazon UK
Title: Chickens Eat Pasta: Escape to Umbria
Author: Clare Pedrick
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Troubador Publishing
Publication Date: 23rd July 2015
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Not just another romance, but a story of escapism, coincidences, friendship, luck and most of all... love. 

Chickens Eat Pasta is the tale of how a young Englishwoman starts a new life after watching a video showing a chicken eating spaghetti in a mediaeval hill village in central Italy. 

“Here I was, 26 years old, alone and numb with boredom at the prospect of a future which until recently had seemed to be just what I wanted.” 

Unlike some recent bestsellers, this is not simply an account of a foreigner’s move to Italy, but a love story written from the unusual perspective of both within and outside of the story. As events unfold, the strong storyline carries with it a rich portrayal of Italian life from the inside, with a supporting cast of memorable characters. Along the way, the book explores and captures the warmth and colour of Italy, as well as some of the cultural differences – between England and Italy, but also between regional Italian lifestyles and behaviour. It is a story with a happy ending. The author and her husband are still married, with three children, who love the old house on the hill (now much restored) almost as much as she does. 

Chickens Eat Pasta is Clare’s autobiography, and ultimately a love story – with the house itself and with the man that Clare met there and went on to marry. If you yearn for a happy ending, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a story that proves anything is possible if you only try.

It was really the title that drew me into looking at this book. Being called Chickens Eat Pasta, I figured, well I loved eating chicken, and I love eating pasta, and them both combined is equally good, so pasta eating chickens would be amusing. Unfortunately apart from a small mention of these chickens that do eat pasta in Umbria in the opening chapter, we don't find out much else about these special chickens. In fact there was a lack of poultry in this book. 

However there was plenty of scrumptious sounding pasta dishes as well as all manner of other Italian cooking, which all sounded delicious. Having read this book the day before I'm flying to Venice, I really wanted to know a bit more about the Italian way of life, to get me in the mood, and this book certainly did that. 

This is the memoir of journalist Clare Pedrick, as she moves from England to a small village in Umbria. She is able to speak Italian thankfully and she soon starts to learn a lot more about the villagers. 

I found the first half of the book a bit slow, and hard to stay interested in, but then suddenly I think everything clicked into place for me, as the second half was a pleasure. I was  loving finding out about the lives of the various villagers, and what they get up to. There are some real larger than life characters in the village. 

And then Clare meets a man, and from then, I was really wanting to know what was happening with the relationship, which was not without its difficulties. 

Chickens Eat Pasta is an amusing autobiography, featuring beautiful locations in Italy, and some very entertaining anecdotes. 

Thanks so much to Troubador Publishing and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest review. 


  1. I have this. Just bumped it up my, tbr! Thanks for sharing, Rachel. :) xx

  2. Good thinking, bumping it up your TBR Sheryl!

  3. This sounds right up my street . I'll add it to my wish list xx thanks Rachel 🙌

  4. Sounds lovely - having lived in Sicily myself years ago it'd be interesting - very different way of life. Angela Britnell


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