A Tale of Renovating a Medieval Church in Tuscany

Non-Fiction - Travel
107 Pages
Reviewed on 07/04/2021
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tom Gauthier for Readers' Favorite

Altared: A Tale of Renovating a Medieval Church in Tuscany is a charming ride-along with Kyle Tackwell Ball as she pursues her desire to own property in Italy. Her lighthearted narrative makes any of us who have ever tackled a “fixer-upper” project kneel down in thanks that we stopped far short of an abandoned church in Tuscany. She takes us through the unfathomable bureaucratic maze, swerving here and there to throw language challenges, then sliding to a halt at social events with new friends to wrap her in customs warm and charming – and incomprehensible to her. We follow along as she grows, learns, stumbles, and repeats it with a tenacity to prevail that we can only applaud. Ball’s attention to detail both in the project and in telling us about it is brilliant. Her descriptions of the landscape, architecture, history – and the people – are gripping.

Charming, cute, sometimes poignant, Altared delivers a delightful journey through a seemingly impossible mission of making a 12th century abandoned church into a 21st century Tuscany hideaway. Kyle moves us along with a stream of consciousness that at once describes then decries her discoveries, jumping from subject to subject in a way that should confuse us but instead charms us with her perspicacious headlong dive into a culture and a dream. Kyle keeps us chuckling at her constant comparisons of events to songs, movies, books, and other seemingly encyclopedic snippets of her boundless repertoire. Kyle regales us with descriptions of local characters interacting in vignettes and cultural motifs initially incomprehensible to an American. She keeps us learning the Italian language with her and joining in her laughing interpretations. Altared is a laudable first work by Kyle Tackwell Ball. Her writing is engaging, light, and entertaining, and while I would never wish another project like Le Convertoie on her, it would be a pure pleasure to read another tale from this new author. Without reservation, I recommend reading Altared: A Tale of Renovating a Medieval Church in Tuscany.