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In this travelogue of self-discovery, Jane Christmas brings her wickedly irreverent style to a new mother-daughter experience. Since the beginning of time, mothers and daughters have had notoriously fraught relationships. "Show me a mother who says she has a good or great relationship with her daughter," Jane Christmas writes, "and I'll show you a daughter who is in therapy trying to understand how it all went so horribly wrong."
To smooth over five decades of constant clashing, Christmas takes her arthritic, incontinent, and domineering mother, Valeria - a cross between Queen Victoria and Hyacinth Bucket of the British comedy Keeping Up Appearances - on a tour of Italy. Neither has been to Italy before, but both are fans of ancient art, architecture, and history. Will gazing at the fruits of the Italian Renaissance be enough to spark a renaissance in their relationship?
As they wander along the winding Amalfi Coast, traverse St. Peter's Square in Rome, and sample the wines of Tuscany - walkers, biscuits, shawls, and medications in tow - they revisit the bickering and bitterness of years past and reassess who they are and how they might reconcile their differences.
Unflinching and frequently hilarious, Incontinent on the Continent will speak to all women who have tried to make friends with their mothers.
What the critics say
What listeners say about Incontinent on the ContinentAverage Customer Ratings
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Wine or Whine?
I found the protagonist irritable and constantly whining! I’ve had to stop more than once to take a break from the negativity of her complaining. She even gripes about Italy the entire time...seriously has she even been tot he country?! It’s no where near as horrendous a place as she makes it out to be, her depiction is almost criminal!
Definitely not my cup of tea!
This book was a disappointment. It wasn’t funny; it just came across as a whiny rant. Too bad because the subject matter had the potential to be very funny!
I also did not like the narrator – her Italian sounded Spanish.
2 people found this helpful
- Dina M. Scungio
As I was preparing to visit Italy for the trip of a lifetime, I started listening to Italian stories, this was depressing, whiny, complaining about Italians, made me not want to visit. I couldn’t even finish it! Waste of money!
- Robert R.
Would you try another book from Jane Christmas and/or Eileen Barrett?
No, I don't think so.
What was most disappointing about Jane Christmas’s story?
It simply wasn't interesting, and the humor was literally the same thing, page after page, chapter after chapter, until it became annoying rather than pleasurable.
Would you be willing to try another one of Eileen Barrett’s performances?
The narrator was decent enough, it was the material she was given that was the issue.
What character would you cut from Incontinent on the Continent?
This just seems completely insincere, as if the author decided when she and her mother had decided on this trip that she'd take good notes and turn it into a book of some kind after in the hopes of making some money and paying for the trip. The problem is the author, her mother, and the people she meets just aren't interesting, their escapades aren't interesting, the humor isn't interesting or funny, and it's just the same thing over and over and over again, ad nauseum.
Any additional comments?
Avoid like the plague.
2 people found this helpful