‘A fascinatingly-detailed account of how a love affair with the mandolin became a love affair with Italy as well. It shows the lengths to which an excellent musician will go to become an even better one.’

Louis de Bernières, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The mandolin lesson
A journey of self-discovery in Italy

The Book

The Mandolin Lesson is a unique, quirky story of commuting to another country for music lessons. Beautifully redolent of an Italy before emails and mobiles, low cost fares and the channel tunnel, it relates an inspirational story of following one’s passion against all the odds. It is a journey of the moment that happened ahead of its time.

Frances Taylor plays an unusual instrument — the mandolin — and when she gets an unexpected opportunity to study her instrument in its native land, Italy, she feels compelled to do so. The only problem is that as a thirty-something with family and work commitments in England, she has to study part-time, commuting once a month.

Travelling to Padua during the nineties, Frances stays in Brescia and Bologna. Seduced by the charms of the Italian way of life, she helps with the cherry harvest, learns to cook local dishes and finds out how to dress elegantly. Frances thinks at first she is finding out about her instrument and music, and then about another culture, but ultimately she is on a journey to find out about herself, an interior journey in which she learns to reconnect with her spirit...

The Mandolin Lesson is an evocative memoir from the only female professional classical mandolinist in the country — and the only British person to have studied mandolin in Italy at Conservatoire level. The theme of the book is both timeless and universal, about a journey we are all on; a journey to find out about ourselves and to reconnect with who we really are. It will resonate with readers interested in inspirational self-development books, and will also appeal to fans of human interest stories, as well as those interested in Italy and its culture, music in general and the mandolin.