Heartfelt yet delectable, this From Scratch book review gives you everything you need to know about reading Tembi Locke’s memoir, a Reese Witherspoon book club pick. And because this is a book pairings blog “where books meet lifestyle,” I have also provided some recommended lifestyle companions for you to enjoy with the book.
From Scratch Book Review
From Scratch is the tear-jerking memoir of Tembi Locke, who is not just an actress, but also an exquisitely beautiful writer who captures emotions in a way that makes the reader feel both her pain and her resilience in poetically strung sentences with captivating imagery. And I hung onto every word.
From Scratch recounts her story of meeting her husband, Saro, while she was studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Saro was a Sicilian chef whose family disapproved of him marrying a black American actress. After Tembi and Saro move to Los Angeles and adopt a baby girl, Saro is diagnosed with cancer.
From Scratch then chronicles the three summers Locke spends in Sicily with her daughter, Zoela, as they piece together a life without Saro. Sicily becomes a place of comforting food, but also forgiveness, growth, grief, healing, strength and so much more.
Locke’s words speak for themselves so much better than I can adequately summarize them:
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
We had to begin at an ending and make a new beginning.– Tembi Locke
What if my own life was like a flower? Something I had to continually tend to and nurture. Sicily was the water and sun that fortified me to stand stronger in my life after loss. And maybe my leaving a rock at the cemetery, as an act of remembrance, had additional meaning. Maybe it was a symbol of the lasting permanence of Saro’s love. His love, life, illness, and death had taught me so much but it was the undergirding of his love that was my salvation in loss.– Tembi Locke
From Scratch is, quite simply, as warm and comforting as a bowl of Italian wedding soup.
If you are doing an Around the World reading challenge, it’s also a great book selection for “Italy.”
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For more like From Scratch:
- Make one of the delicious Sicilian recipes contained in the book. I made one and posted the result on Instagram here.
- Watch travel guru Rick Steves visit Sicily and Florence on YouTube.
- Check out more books from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club.
- Check out more of the best books set in Italy.
- Check out more of the best books about death, dying and grief.
That concludes this From Scratch book review with some recommended lifestyle companions for you to enjoy with the book.
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