A Place in the World: Finding the Meaning of Home (Hardcover)
“Personal, warm, and lovely . . . a charming read. The book feels like a warm conversation with your most thoughtful, curious friend.”—Garden & Gun
LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD • VERANDA BOOK CLUB PICK
“Where you are is who you are.”
Though Frances Mayes is known for her travels, she has always sought a sense of home wherever she goes. In this poetic testament to the power of place in our lives, Mayes reflects on the idea of home, from the earliest imprint of four walls to the startling discoveries of feeling the strange ease of homes abroad, friends’ homes, and even momentary homes that spark desires for other lives. From her travels across Italy to the American South, France, and Mexico, Mayes examines the connective tissue among them through the homes she’s inhabited.
A Place in the World explores Mayes’s passion for and obsession with houses and the objects that inhabit them—books, rich food, gardens, beloved friends, and transportive art. The indelible marks that each refuge has left on her and how each home influenced the next serve as the foundations of the book’s chapters.
Written in Mayes’s signature intimate style, A Place in the World captures the adventure of moving on while seeking comfort in the cornerstone closest to all of us—home.
“Personal, warm, and lovely . . . a charming read.”—Garden & Gun
“A Place in the World is an homage of sorts to the South, where [Mayes] grew up. . . . The experience is both a homecoming and a reckoning with the past.”—The Washington Post
“Sparkling . . . There are so many lovely descriptions of Mayes’ houses in A Place in the World, but this is not a book about buildings . . . It’s about the concept of home, that intangible thing . . . It’s a whirlwind home tour and homage to friendship . . . A beautiful, thought-provoking read.”—BookPage, (starred review)
“Mayes delivers a soulful meditation on ‘what home means, how it hooks the past and pushes into the future’ in her spellbinding latest. She examines the question through an evocative tour of her homes. . . . This rich testament to the pleasures of wanderlust and permanence is a gift.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Vivid and heartfelt . . . [Mayes’] writing is infused with this rare communal quality. A Place in the World is certainly a charming and tasteful anthology of particular spaces, but it is so much more.”—Bookreporter
“Another lush account of family and place . . . The writing is characteristically intimate, as if she is sharing her thoughts and feelings with a dear friend, and she employs eloquent and detailed descriptions, creating a wonderful sense of place. A can’t-miss hit for Mayes fans.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Mayes, known for her wanderlust, stops and takes into consideration a place key in people’s lives. In her essays, [she] examines the concept of home and how people gravitate to the places and people that mean the most, even in a foreign landscape.”—Library Journal