Having decided that the New England winters are no longer tolerable, Richard Hewitt, a builder, and his wife Barbara, an artist, decide to move to sunny Portugal and set about finding a small house that they can renovate. After much searching, they find a rundown cottage in Sintra, a small village outside of Lisbon. But trying to buy the house is just the first adventure of many that they will have. Hampered by their lack of fluency in the language, even the simplest tasks became major undertakings. Trying to get water to their home, getting permission to remain in the country, and hiring workmen for the renovation project all involve dealing with the Portuguese bureaucracy and the personalities of the locals. At times the Hewitts are tempted to give up, but wonderful food, weather, scenery, and new friends more than compensate for the hassles they experience.
According to the book jacket, Hewitt and his wife now divide their time between Massachusetts and Portugal. This book is a good choice for readers who enjoyed A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle and Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. Readers may also be interested in At Home in France by Anne Barry.
Reviewed by ch, 6/98. Other reviews by ch.