The White Moth is an intimate, riveting portrait of life at a farm villa in Tuscany, from the challenging times of fascism and foreign occupation in the 1940s to the idyllic farm-to-table times in the 1970s. A generational saga of longing, loss and displacement, the book is also an American woman's tribute to her Italian husband and mother-in-law.
While championing Alda's courage, optimism and resilience despite heartbreaking loss, the author also celebrates her own idyllic times spent harvesting and falling in love with her friend at his farm villa in the 1970s. The book explores the interconnected stories of three generations of women who marry into the Rafanelli family and reveals the importance of place and the tender relationship between women. It is also the story of the changing roles and status of women and challenges the stereotype of the often maligned role of a mother-in-law.
Camilla Calhoun left her museum job in New York to follow her dream of returning to Italy to live and write. During 4 years at her friend's Tuscan villa, she harvested grapes, olives, sowed wheat, fell in love, got married, ran a flower shop and had her first child before moving back to New York with her husband. Interested in the connection to place, she is writing a novel based on her essay, A Town Called Olive. Recently she has written a collection of essays about losing her beloved husband Aldo.