From Scratch

From Scratch

A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home

Book - 2019
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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 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.
Publisher: New York : Simon and Schuster, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781501187650
Characteristics: x, 339 pages ;,23 cm.


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Sep 06, 2019

It's hard to believe that this is a fiction debut. Tembi Locke's writing flows lyrically through each scene like spaghetti noodles. I was drooling at the mouth at all of the food ... pasta, olives, tomatoes, fresh bread, mulberries, cheese, even the wine. The book, however, seems a little clunky and discombobulated at times, as it goes back and forth from past to present and as another reviewer noted there is seemingly "no plot." I really liked the writing style anyway. Friends and fellow foodies, I recommend this one if you want to get lost and transport yourself to the Sicilian countryside.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Aug 13, 2019

I enjoyed this without necessarily deriving any essential truths about grief/mourning/loss from it. I occasionally found myself wishing the author had lingered a bit more on her relationship with her late husband, but she writes beautifully (and movingly) of their life together and her life after his death, and the descriptions of the countryside, food, and people of his native Sicily (where she returns for consecutive summers in the years after his death, to take her daughter to visit his family) are incredibly evocative and well-done. This made for really pleasant reading without diving too deep; the writing itself is lovely, too.

Jul 31, 2019

I enjoyed this more than I expected to, it was nicely paced and none of it was too heavy or dull. I would love to go to Sicily one day, and I really enjoyed her memories of their life together and how she's moving forward.

Jun 25, 2019

“He soothed the places I hadn't known needed soothing, seemed perfectly willing to embrace the parts of me that were wanton, unsettled, unfinished, and contradictory. Together we had engaged life as two forks eating off one plate. Ready to listen, to love, to look into the darkness and see a thin filament of the moon.”
― Tembi Locke, From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home

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