Full of lighthearted humor, sumptuous food, the wisdom of an Italian mother-in-law, and all the atmosphere of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, this warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad. Thanks to a surprising romance—and a spirited woman who teaches her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love—a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean.
In this warmly funny and spirited memoir, American-born Katherine Wilson arrives in Naples, Italy, for an internship at the U.S. Consulate. One evening, she meets handsome Salvatore and finds herself immediately enveloped by his elegant mother, Raffaella, and the rest of the Avallone family. From that moment, Katherine’s education begins: Never eat the crust of a pizza first, always stand up and fight for yourself and your loved ones, and consider mealtimes sacred—food must be prepared fresh and consumed in compagnia. Unexpectedly falling for Salvatore, and captivated by Raffaella’s companionship and guidance, Katherine discovers how to prepare meals that sing—from hearty, thick ragù to comforting pasta al forno. Through courtship, culture clashes, marriage, and motherhood, Katherine comes to appreciate carnale, the quintessentially Neapolitan sense of comfort and confidence in one’s own skin. The Mother-in-Law Cure is a sumptuous story that is a feast for the senses. Goethe said, “See Naples and die.” But Katherine Wilson saw Naples and started to live.
Praise for The Mother-in-Law Cure
“In a world filled with food memoirs, this one stands out. Katherine Wilson gives us more than the fabulous food of Naples. She offers us a passport to an exotic country we would never be able to enter on our own.”—Ruth Reichl, author of My Kitchen Year
“Warmhearted . . . an exuberant account of love and great Italian food.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Sweet and humorous.”—Publishers Weekly
“Wilson has written a glorious memoir celebrating the holy trinity of Italian life: love, food, and family. Her keen eye and sense of humor take you through the winding streets of Naples at a clip, on a ride you hope will never end.”—Adriana Trigiani, author of The Shoemaker’s Wife
“How lucky we are to get these hilarious and wise perceptions filtered through a sincerely loving eye.”—Julie Klam, author of Friendkeeping
“This thoroughly enjoyable love letter to Naples is a tribute to the author’s irrepressible mother-in-law.”—Luisa Weiss, author of My Berlin Kitchen and founder of The Wednesday Chef
During a college internship in 1996, Wilson fell in love with the quirky and wonderful city of Naples, Italy. Wilson, who was raised in Washington, D.C., now resides in Italy with her husband and their two children. Her warm-hearted memoir weaves snippets of her upper-middle-class upbringing into the chronicle of her life in Italy for the past 19 years. During her internship, Wilson was taken under the wing of a Neapolitan family with two children her own age, headed by an irrepressible matron. Wilson began learning the language and customs of everyday life that were not readily found in guidebooks. She slowly grasped how enjoying good food can spill over into the love of life. Wilson explains that she had been a chubby child and struggled with what Italians call "disorganized, messy eating sickness," or binge-eating disorder, while growing up. But Naples and her adopted family showed her a different way to eat and live: "Naples is an anti-binge city. In Neapolitan culture, mealtimes are sacred food is freshly prepared and consumed in compagnia." Wilson includes special recipes for savoring alongside her sweet and humorous narrative.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Only in Naples (Katherine Wilson)
Such a fun ride on hairpin Italian curves, zipping past dreamy scenery, mouth-dripping concoctions, and tender-hearted family moments. Ketrin's adventures in Italy's "dirty" city create an unquenchable hunger to BE there right now. Excess verbiage be damned in this wonder of a memoir -- why clutter up the tale with details that might explain some of the craziness? It's true to life in the best possible way, like being at a fabulous party with new friends, unable to learn all you can in one sitting. Laughing, crying, getting mad, being soothed.....ahhhh, I can't wait for her next book.
The Mother in Law Cure
Katherine Wilson writes lovingly and humorously about her life in Italy.
Specifically life in Naples the home of her husband.
Coming from an Italian American background,with maternal and paternal grandparents born and raised in Naples, much of her adventures and revelations sound wonderfully familiar.
I love the honest humor and serious life lessons imparted by the author as she finds herself and her voice in a culture so different from her native homeland.
This is a wonderful read particularly for those nostalgic for and proud of their Italian heritage ..