Now a limited Netflix series starring Zoe Saldana!
This Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller is “a captivating story of love lost and found” (Kirkus Reviews) set in the lush Sicilian countryside, where one woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace in her darkest hours.
It was love at first sight when actress Tembi met professional chef, Saro, on a street in Florence. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family did not approve of his marrying a black American woman. However, the couple, heartbroken but undeterred, forged on. They built a happy life in Los Angeles, with fulfilling careers, deep friendships, and the love of their lives: a baby girl they adopted at birth. Eventually, they reconciled with Saro’s family just as he faced a formidable cancer that would 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, 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 romance—an incredible 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. “Locke’s raw and heartfelt memoir will uplift readers suffering from the loss of their own loved ones” (Publishers Weekly), but her story is also about love, finding a home, and 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 those who needed a powerful reminder that life is...delicious.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
TV actress Tembi Locke and Italian chef Saro found once-in-a-lifetime love after a casual vacation romance turned serious—and together, they faced incredible challenges. Locke’s beautiful and rewarding memoir reflects on Saro’s battle with cancer, Locke’s reconciliation with her husband’s conservative family, and the three summers she and her young daughter spent in her in-laws’ small Sicilian farming village. From Scratch is a life-affirming exploration of mourning and rebirth fuelled by a passionate connection to the food and family that made Locke’s late husband who he was. Peppered with delicious recipes, this touching book will delight fans of self-discovery stories like Eat, Pray, Love.
Actress and TEDx speaker Locke movingly describes the process of grieving and finding solace during three summers in Italy after the death of her husband. As a 20-year-old college exchange student in Florence in 1990, Locke, an aspiring actress, fell in love with chef Saro. His traditional Sicilian family disapproved of their interracial relationship (she is black), yet the couple married after a two-year long-distance relationship, eventually moving to Los Angeles, where they adopted a daughter; during a trip to Sicily two years later, the families reconciled. Saro, who had been battling a rare form of cancer for a decade, died in 2010; Locke spent the next three summers in Sicily with Saro's mother making family recipes, experiencing the close-knit community, and embracing the wisdom of generations (she cooked alongside Saro's widowed mother, who advised her simply to "Rest, you must rest"). Locke writes of coming to recognize that love comes in many forms and that "sometimes it can look like letting go, but it can also look like never letting go." She concludes with more than a dozen Sicilian recipes that filled her with memories of Saro. Locke's raw and heartfelt memoir will uplift readers suffering from the loss of their own loved ones.