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A poignant and transporting cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace in her darkest hour. It was love at first sight when Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family did A poignant and transporting cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace in her darkest hour. It was love at first sight when Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family did not approve of him marrying a black American woman, an actress no less. However, the couple, heartbroken but undeterred, forges on. They build a happy life in Los Angeles, with fulfilling careers, deep friendships and the love of their lives: a baby girl they adopt at birth. Eventually, they reconcile with Saro’s family just as he faces a formidable cancer that will consume all their dreams. From Scratch chronicles three summers Tembi spends in Sicily with her daughter, Zoela, as she begins to piece together a life without her husband in his tiny hometown hamlet of farmers. Where once Tembi was estranged from Saro’s family and his origins, now she finds solace and nourishment—literally and spiritually—at her mother in law’s table. In the Sicilian countryside, she discovers the healing gifts of simple fresh food, the embrace of a close knit community, and timeless traditions and wisdom that light a path forward. All along the way she reflects on her and Saro’s incredible romance—an indelible love story that leaps off the pages. In Sicily, it is said that every story begins with a marriage or a death—in Tembi Locke’s case, it is both. Her story is about loss, but it’s really about love found. Her story is about travel, but it’s really about finding a home. It is about food, but it’s really about chasing flavor as an act of remembrance. From Scratch is for anyone who has dared to reach for big love, fought for what mattered most, and needed a powerful reminder that life is…delicious.


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A poignant and transporting cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace in her darkest hour. It was love at first sight when Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family did A poignant and transporting cross-cultural love story set against the lush backdrop of the Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace in her darkest hour. It was love at first sight when Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family did not approve of him marrying a black American woman, an actress no less. However, the couple, heartbroken but undeterred, forges on. They build a happy life in Los Angeles, with fulfilling careers, deep friendships and the love of their lives: a baby girl they adopt at birth. Eventually, they reconcile with Saro’s family just as he faces a formidable cancer that will consume all their dreams. From Scratch chronicles three summers Tembi spends in Sicily with her daughter, Zoela, as she begins to piece together a life without her husband in his tiny hometown hamlet of farmers. Where once Tembi was estranged from Saro’s family and his origins, now she finds solace and nourishment—literally and spiritually—at her mother in law’s table. In the Sicilian countryside, she discovers the healing gifts of simple fresh food, the embrace of a close knit community, and timeless traditions and wisdom that light a path forward. All along the way she reflects on her and Saro’s incredible romance—an indelible love story that leaps off the pages. In Sicily, it is said that every story begins with a marriage or a death—in Tembi Locke’s case, it is both. Her story is about loss, but it’s really about love found. Her story is about travel, but it’s really about finding a home. It is about food, but it’s really about chasing flavor as an act of remembrance. From Scratch is for anyone who has dared to reach for big love, fought for what mattered most, and needed a powerful reminder that life is…delicious.

30 review for From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home

  1. 5 out of 5

    SimitudeSims

    My actual stars would be much lower but I feel it's unfair to judge a book just because it's a type of book I dislike. It was beautifully written and full of description that makes you want to be there. The issue is that I don't read books to make myself sad. There is enough sadness in the world without choosing to immerse yourself in it. Others love these books and I didn't want my taste to taint the rating of a beautiful book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erika Robuck

    From the shores of California to an island in the Mediterranean, FROM SCRATCH is a rich, sensual reading experience. Equal parts uplifting and devastating, it is a memoir of soul-searching beauty. As extraordinary and unique as Tembi Locke's life is, all readers will identify with the themes of love, family, and forgiveness. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Beautiful writing and narration by the author. I visited Sicily in May 2019 and the author's descriptions brought it all flooding back. Sicily has everything, beautiful vistas, gorgeous beaches, amazing architecture, delicious food & wine, & wonderful characters! As I listened, I scribbled quotes on various scraps of paper, such as junk mail envelopes. I wrote on anything I had to hand when I heard something that twanged my heart strings. However, I appear to have mislaid most of them around my Beautiful writing and narration by the author. I visited Sicily in May 2019 and the author's descriptions brought it all flooding back. Sicily has everything, beautiful vistas, gorgeous beaches, amazing architecture, delicious food & wine, & wonderful characters! As I listened, I scribbled quotes on various scraps of paper, such as junk mail envelopes. I wrote on anything I had to hand when I heard something that twanged my heart strings. However, I appear to have mislaid most of them around my home. So, here is one of the quotes that so moved me: "it was clear that being with Saro had been like weaving a beautiful complicated tapestry. After his death, being with his family was like looking at the flip side of that tapestry, the stitching showed, the bulky knots, the places where the fringe had frayed but it was still part of the same beautiful piece." 9/26/19 Found another quote: "He was kryptonite sprinkled on a pizza, my personal weakness."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    I really wanted to like this, to connect with someone else who has felt grief, but it fell incredibly flat. The way it was written, I wasn't able to connect with the characters, and there was no plot. It was simply a sad woman who ate pasta. I expected to follow their love story and then feel the loss, grieving alongside Tembi, but it never happened.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cortney

    “That morning I wanted nothing more than to know that it was possible for me to feel alive, fully alive again. The half living of life after loss was shifting. I wanted to be reminded of the bounty of life...” Oh this precious little book touched my heart. I was tearing up at the prologue. Through Tembi’s words you can feel the love she has for her family. I know first hand the challenges of learning to navigate the world again as a mom and widow so this book really hit home for me. I laughed. I cr “That morning I wanted nothing more than to know that it was possible for me to feel alive, fully alive again. The half living of life after loss was shifting. I wanted to be reminded of the bounty of life...” Oh this precious little book touched my heart. I was tearing up at the prologue. Through Tembi’s words you can feel the love she has for her family. I know first hand the challenges of learning to navigate the world again as a mom and widow so this book really hit home for me. I laughed. I cried. I felt like I had traveled to Italy and ate all this delicious food. It was the beautiful blending of two cultures through love and loss. I highly recommend this unforgettable memoir.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    From Scratch: a Memoir. . . . This was an assignment from Reese W and Hello, Sunshine! Good thing, too, because this is not one I would have picked up and read, given my own choosing algorithms. But this was an interesting story, with all the happy accidents that result in real living (as opposed to fictionally contrived situations to fit plot points), full of crazy coincidences for which we make up plots, intervening characters engaged in divine and/or devilish interferences, with promises of ha From Scratch: a Memoir. . . . This was an assignment from Reese W and Hello, Sunshine! Good thing, too, because this is not one I would have picked up and read, given my own choosing algorithms. But this was an interesting story, with all the happy accidents that result in real living (as opposed to fictionally contrived situations to fit plot points), full of crazy coincidences for which we make up plots, intervening characters engaged in divine and/or devilish interferences, with promises of happy endings, or dire dooms. More than anything this put me in a contemplative mood – thinking semi-dark thoughts wrapped in various themes of “all beginnings have an end.” George Carlin once said “It’s inevitable when you buy the pet. You’re supposed to know it in the pet shop. It’s going to end badly. You are purchasing a small tragedy.” That’s got to be true about every one of our relationships, from the most precious to the ones about which we are most indifferent. So . . . .is the business of life the educating all of us about transitions and reconciling ourselves to being in the moment, and then just as wholly, moving on? Moving on with history that is not allowed to overwhelm or overlimit? So difficult to box up meanings, but beyond the telling of a love/life story, this is my take-away from Ms. Locke’s book. Still pondering on it, and have picked up a few more books with similar themes. . . .maybe my algorithms need tweaking. Or not. Lovely writing – about her travels, family dynamics and how wacky those can be, the many forgivenesses time helps with in that area, and lots and lots of Sicilian cooking, tastes and pleasures. 3.5 stars from me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan Meissner

    What a beautiful tribute to love in all its forms, even the love you still feel when you are mourning. That love is its own kind of love, as true, as powerful, as life-shaping as the kind you'd easily been able to express before everything changed. I loved especially these lines on p. 176. "...throughout life, we revisit the empty spaces. That was her understanding of grief. That we are always trying to reconcile memory with reality..." This is what it means to grieve; to cherish still every mem What a beautiful tribute to love in all its forms, even the love you still feel when you are mourning. That love is its own kind of love, as true, as powerful, as life-shaping as the kind you'd easily been able to express before everything changed. I loved especially these lines on p. 176. "...throughout life, we revisit the empty spaces. That was her understanding of grief. That we are always trying to reconcile memory with reality..." This is what it means to grieve; to cherish still every memory within this new, raw and uncharted reality. Tembi's memoir is perfectly structured, exquisitely rendered, achingly beautiful...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Probably would have given this book 2 stars, except that the writing really is beautiful. It just wasn't what I expected. This is a memoir about loss, period. If that's what you're here for, then you will likely get a lot out of it, but it wasn't what I was hoping for at this particular moment in my life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jude (NYJudester) Fricano

    I wanted to love this book. Sicily, food, culture, family, love .. but unfortunately I did not. The story was too drawn out, too much forced drama. There were parts that made me smile, other parts I rolled my eyes. I wish I loved it. I just didn’t feel it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Martie Nees Record

    Genre: Memoir Publisher: Simon & Schuster Pub. Date: April 30, 2019 I usually feel apprehensive when beginning a memoir. There are hundreds of memoirs written, usually ghostwritten, often from those in the entertainment business. Tembi Locke is an actress and I wondered if I was in for a poorly written, vanity book. From the first sentence, I knew this was not going to be the case. “In Sicily, every story begins with a marriage or a death.” I was already hooked. The author is an African American fr Genre: Memoir Publisher: Simon & Schuster Pub. Date: April 30, 2019 I usually feel apprehensive when beginning a memoir. There are hundreds of memoirs written, usually ghostwritten, often from those in the entertainment business. Tembi Locke is an actress and I wondered if I was in for a poorly written, vanity book. From the first sentence, I knew this was not going to be the case. “In Sicily, every story begins with a marriage or a death.” I was already hooked. The author is an African American from Texas. Besides being a mom and an actress, she is also an activist. She meets her future Sicilian husband, Saro when she is in college and doing a semester in Italy. He is a chef who was born, lives, and works in a part of the world that holds onto their traditions with a firm grasp. Even though the couple has their wedding reception in Italy, his parents do not attend. His father has forbidden anyone in his family from attending because his son is marrying a black, non-catholic woman. Her parents gladly attended, arriving in full Texan gear while dancing the Harlem Shuffle at the reception. The author gives you enough information to make you wonder, how could this bi-racial, cross-cultural couple make it? Yet, “He soothed the places I hadn't known needed soothing… Together we had engaged life as two forks eating off one plate.” Tembi writes as if her marriage was a great love affair. “Our undoing was cancer…Pain is part of life. That much I knew.” However, she makes it clear that nothing could prepare her for the years of caretaking and the crippling grief once Saro dies from the disease. The entire book might have been an exercise in catharsis. If so, she made it work. When Tembi returns to Sicily to bury Saro’s ashes, she develops a new bond with her mother-in-law through the Sicilian food they prepare in Saro’s parents’ tiny kitchen. She writes, “Cooking is about surrender.” In the tradition of “Like Water For Chocolate,” “Scratch” is a recipe book and love story that is told through cooking a meal. Tembi and her daughter come to spend their summers in Sicily and she embraces the slow-paced lifestyle. One of her favorite chores is after a meal, joining the other village women to shake out their tablecloths—in the middle of the road—so not to attract ants into their home. The author comes to know and understand her late husband’s family. Okay, there are some “Godfather” jokes, but in the end, a Sicilian neighbor, who does not understand a syllable of English, tells her family that their daughter, Tembi, “is one of us.” As Tembi says, “Sicily was the water and sun that fortified me to stand stronger in my life after loss.” Locke’s memoir immediately reveals to the reader that she is a powerful storyteller. She fills her book with sensory experiences of Sicily. “The hot air was pregnant with jasmine and eucalyptus.” Although the lyrical prose is glorious, I sometimes found that the vivid imagery throughout the memoir took over her story. I would have enjoyed reading less poetry on the wonders of Sicily (to be fair she also educates her readers on its history) and learned more about the details of her married life in America, which seems to have been skipped over. I’m guessing this was done on purpose since the author’s tale is really about the salve that she found in Sicily. Also, sometimes, the connection between food and kitchen wisdom was a bit too overplayed. But, who am I to contradict her memories and healing process? I devoured this book. Once finished, I could not wait to celebrate life by going into my own kitchen to boil water for pasta. The author’s soul-searching words make for a heartfelt memoir that is part devastating, part uplifting, and always a beautiful tribute to life and love. Find all my book reviews at: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list... https://books6259.wordpress.com/ https://www.barnesandnoble.com/review... https://www.facebook.com/martie.neesr... https://www.instagram.com/martie6947/ https://www.pinterest.com/martienreco...\ https://www.amazon.com/ https://twitter.com/NeesRecord

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jodie (That Happy Reader)

    The love story of Tembi and Saro is one of passion, commitment, and everlasting love. Not since Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” have I been so moved by a book.. Tembi Locke conveys passion and sincerity which is deeply felt on each and every page. It is articulate, vulnerable and full of symbolism. I could not put this book down and highly recommend it. Please note: I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review which I have provided here.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    What I thought this book was going to be about and what it actually was about were two entirely different things. I was expecting more of a culinary, upbeat, overcoming loss memoir. What it read as was a grieving, never ending, jilted story of a wife losing her husband (which I knew was a core part of the synopsis). I felt everything else was an afterthought. There were parts I couldn't wait to be over because she went on and on and on in a way that I couldn't empathize or connect with. Her writ What I thought this book was going to be about and what it actually was about were two entirely different things. I was expecting more of a culinary, upbeat, overcoming loss memoir. What it read as was a grieving, never ending, jilted story of a wife losing her husband (which I knew was a core part of the synopsis). I felt everything else was an afterthought. There were parts I couldn't wait to be over because she went on and on and on in a way that I couldn't empathize or connect with. Her writing style came across as her trying way too hard to write lyrically, and it didn't feel right to me. Personal preference perhaps. The time hops didn't make sense to me either. I would have much preferred a chronologically written memoir so I could invest in the family and their relationships. Instead I never connected and honestly couldn't wait for it to be over.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The story she had to tell was compelling but it was overwritten. It seemed like her prose was trying too hard.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Isa

    A beautifully written testament of accepting life with all that life has to give, of love .....love for another human being, love for parents, love for children and love for one's origins and birth place....

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mikala Hill

    In all fairness, I am not the "memoir" type. But I was rooting for this one. It started off strong...and then drug on until the end. Bummer.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This was the perfect book for me to read during a week in Italy. Not only is it set largely in Sicily, but it ticks a lot of boxes in terms of my reading interests: food, travel, bereavement, and the challenges of being an American overseas. During a semester abroad in Florence, Tembi Locke (an actress I was previously unfamiliar with) met and fell in love with Saro Gullo, an Italian chef. His parents could hardly accept him marrying someone from outside of Sicily, let alone a black woman from T This was the perfect book for me to read during a week in Italy. Not only is it set largely in Sicily, but it ticks a lot of boxes in terms of my reading interests: food, travel, bereavement, and the challenges of being an American overseas. During a semester abroad in Florence, Tembi Locke (an actress I was previously unfamiliar with) met and fell in love with Saro Gullo, an Italian chef. His parents could hardly accept him marrying someone from outside of Sicily, let alone a black woman from Texas, and refused to attend their wedding. But as the years passed they softened towards Locke, who gradually became accepted in Saro’s hometown of Aliminusa. In fact, after Saro’s death from bone cancer in 2012, she became like a second daughter to Saro’s mother; the book focuses on the three summers in a row when she and her adopted daughter Zoela traveled to the family home in Sicily to stay with Nonna. That first year they brought over some of Saro’s ashes, and though in each year that followed the sadness hadn’t truly dissipated, there was still, somehow, more joy in the simplicity of the Sicilian way of life, in her hard-won acceptance into a new family, and in food prepared with love. As an expat, I particularly appreciated the exploration of what it’s like to live between countries and cultures; Locke does a wonderful job of presenting the extreme differences between L.A., where she lives, and Sicily without judgment (i.e., implying that one is better than the other). It’s an honest, sad yet hopeful memoir, and there are even recipes! I plan to order it for my sister as soon as we get home from our vacation. A favorite passage: “The food from Nonnas kitchen told a story, an epic and personal story of an island and a family. It told the story of poverty, grief, love, and joy. ... Her food spoke of malleability and resourcefulness in loss, in love, and in life. She had learned how to turn subsistence living into abundance.” Readalikes: Traveling with Ghosts: A Memoir by Shannon Leone Fowler Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from My Italian Mother-in-Law by Katherine Wilson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stacey A. Prose and Palate

    "She had said so many things, things that were hard to hear, harder still to push through. Things the therapist and books all said were very normal. When those moments happened, when the grief was too big and it threatened to buckle the frame of the house, we'd often go to the back yard of our house and lie on the grass, put our bodies prostrate on the earth. On the blanket looking at the stars, I would tell her to give her hurt to the stars. They could take it. I told her she could say anything "She had said so many things, things that were hard to hear, harder still to push through. Things the therapist and books all said were very normal. When those moments happened, when the grief was too big and it threatened to buckle the frame of the house, we'd often go to the back yard of our house and lie on the grass, put our bodies prostrate on the earth. On the blanket looking at the stars, I would tell her to give her hurt to the stars. They could take it. I told her she could say anything to them. She could cry, she could scream, she could curse, anything she felt. She often said only one thing: "Babbo, you should not have left me.” I have unintentionallly put myself through the emotional ringer this month reading so many back to back books regarding death and grief, but it has turned out to be an incredibly cathartic experience for me. When I read the above passage from Tembi Locke’s emotional memoir, it immediately brought tears to my eyes because it is something that I think is always on your lips when you lose a parent... whether you are coping as a 7 year old daughter or a daughter who is 42... we think “you should not have left me." We want our loved ones to always be with us, and no matter how old we are, it always seems incomprehensible and unbearable when it comes time to have to say goodbye. From Scratch is the heartbreakingly, gorgeous debut that Reese Witherspoon selected as her May read for her Hello Sunshine Book Club pick. It is a meditation on love, family, loss, and navigating overwhelming grief. It is an honest testament of what is is like to care for someone with a terminal illness, and highlights the struggle of adjusting to becoming a family of 2 instead of 3. And then there’s the food. I LOVED how food was infused all through out this story. Here in the South, food is definitely a love language and I related so much to the scenes where Tembi and her in-laws come together and find comfort and connection in the kitchen. But most of all, this book is a love letter to those we cherish and who leave us too soon. All the stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I am sure writing this book was cathartic for Ms. Locke. At least I hope it was. For me, I felt like I spent a book reading about her complaining about things that only someone with privilege could complain about. Yes, there were some racial issues and I am not diminishing the difficulties in losing a spouse; however, when someone spends pages explaining how gorgeous it is while they are able to spend summers mourning their husband’s passing in Sicily, those issues seem a bit less pressing. So, I am sure writing this book was cathartic for Ms. Locke. At least I hope it was. For me, I felt like I spent a book reading about her complaining about things that only someone with privilege could complain about. Yes, there were some racial issues and I am not diminishing the difficulties in losing a spouse; however, when someone spends pages explaining how gorgeous it is while they are able to spend summers mourning their husband’s passing in Sicily, those issues seem a bit less pressing. So, just not the book for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Fokas

    I loved this book. It appealed to me on many levels, I am of Italian heritage and my husband also died from cancer. I thought her writing was beautiful and the feelings expressed were so real and spot on when it comes to caregiving, and grief. It is also a story about healing and the love of family. And the food, Tembi had my mouth watering on so many occasions. I was so happy to see the included recipes! I plan on trying a lot of them. Wonderful debut novel!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia

    3.5. I think that Reese and I do not have the same taste. This is the second of her book club picks that I felt was just ok. Parts of this were wonderful, beautifully written, moved me to tears. But large sections were slow and a little too sentimental. There were meant times I was counting the pages to see when it would end. I intimately know grief and I’ve read other books that fully embrace the experience and strongly echoed my experience. This was not that book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anne ✨

    Thoughtfully and beautifully written. It evoked all the senses of the sights, sounds, and tastes of Sicily, and nice insight into the heart of family and culture there. It also evoked all the emotions too, she tells honestly and with heart about both the good and the bad that she has faced.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mellie Antoinette

    “Life is still revealing itself to you. Be open to it.” This was a beautiful memoir about grief, the aftermath of loss and ultimately the gut-wrenching steps it takes to carry it all forward into the future. With sunny hints of a Sicilian sky slipping through, tomatoes roasting on the stove and almonds to crack in the warm summer heat, it’s amazing how Tembi sewed the comforting hints of food and “otherness” - that second sense of self that happens when we lose a piece of our soul - into her jour “Life is still revealing itself to you. Be open to it.” This was a beautiful memoir about grief, the aftermath of loss and ultimately the gut-wrenching steps it takes to carry it all forward into the future. With sunny hints of a Sicilian sky slipping through, tomatoes roasting on the stove and almonds to crack in the warm summer heat, it’s amazing how Tembi sewed the comforting hints of food and “otherness” - that second sense of self that happens when we lose a piece of our soul - into her journey back to the every day of the life she lives. “Coincidence and fate are two words for the same phenomenon.” Although she’s a long way from her own personal magic hour, she is building it, one brick, one smile, one memory at time. I really enjoyed this one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    From Scratch is a beautiful story that moves through love, loss and moving on. While sad and heartbreaking, it is also a testament to love, family and community. We meet Saro and witness a very moving romance between him and Tembi. The love they share is so strong that it overcomes thousands of miles of separation. When Saro becomes ill, their love provides strength and courage. The writing is exceptional and lyrical. The descriptions of the food and scenery are wonderful. I highly recommend Fro From Scratch is a beautiful story that moves through love, loss and moving on. While sad and heartbreaking, it is also a testament to love, family and community. We meet Saro and witness a very moving romance between him and Tembi. The love they share is so strong that it overcomes thousands of miles of separation. When Saro becomes ill, their love provides strength and courage. The writing is exceptional and lyrical. The descriptions of the food and scenery are wonderful. I highly recommend From Scratch.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    This is the kind of love story I'm looking for in books. I boohoo cried. I hope Tembi finds love again. I highly recommend.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yesenia Juarez

    What a wonderful story, I thought this was fiction when I first started reading it and wow! I love the descriptions of Italian life and how beautifully Tembi wrote about its people! Love love love, I am going to make everyone I know read this beautiful book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Am I the only one who sometimes actually mourns the end of a book? My own healing from loss took me to Italy a few years ago. This book spoke to me in so many aspects and touched on that journey to Italy once again.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Amazing book. One of best memoirs I've ever read. Ever.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    A poignant memoir about finding love and moving on. Locke is a fantastic writer, able to keep you involved and engaged with warm, lush prose. She is particularly good at painting a picture of Sicily or a plate of pasta. You can feel the sun, smell the dishes, and get fully enwrapped in the warmth and love here. A bit of a weepy at first, but in the second half of the book Locke writes in more detail about her life as a widow and her growing relationship with her mother-in-law and it really surpr A poignant memoir about finding love and moving on. Locke is a fantastic writer, able to keep you involved and engaged with warm, lush prose. She is particularly good at painting a picture of Sicily or a plate of pasta. You can feel the sun, smell the dishes, and get fully enwrapped in the warmth and love here. A bit of a weepy at first, but in the second half of the book Locke writes in more detail about her life as a widow and her growing relationship with her mother-in-law and it really surprised me how much she kept me enrapt.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    4.5 stars. This was a beautifully written memoir, with wonderful descriptions of the author’s time in Sicily with her mother-in-law and daughter, lovely romantic moments between her and her husband Saro, and absolutely heart wrenching descriptions of her dealing with her grief after his death. I kept tearing up during these sections of her story, while feeling such peace during her time in Sicily. This was an impulse read, and I’m glad I picked it up at the library. I could see the beautiful Sic 4.5 stars. This was a beautifully written memoir, with wonderful descriptions of the author’s time in Sicily with her mother-in-law and daughter, lovely romantic moments between her and her husband Saro, and absolutely heart wrenching descriptions of her dealing with her grief after his death. I kept tearing up during these sections of her story, while feeling such peace during her time in Sicily. This was an impulse read, and I’m glad I picked it up at the library. I could see the beautiful Sicilian countryside and feel the blazing heat as I read the author’s both painful and uplifting text. Lovely.

  30. 4 out of 5

    2TReads

    This was such a wonderful, yet heartbreaking memoir. Part sweeping love story, and part grief manual. It gives us a glimpse into two parts of Tembi Locke's life; how she met and fell in love with her husband Saro and built a family, and how she was able to get through her grief when Saro passed away. It is a story of love, family, grief, forgiveness and strength, with a generous helping of food (which played a main role in Tembi and Saro's relationship because he was a chef). A truly heartwarmin This was such a wonderful, yet heartbreaking memoir. Part sweeping love story, and part grief manual. It gives us a glimpse into two parts of Tembi Locke's life; how she met and fell in love with her husband Saro and built a family, and how she was able to get through her grief when Saro passed away. It is a story of love, family, grief, forgiveness and strength, with a generous helping of food (which played a main role in Tembi and Saro's relationship because he was a chef). A truly heartwarming tale of love and family.

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