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From Scratch
Cover of From Scratch
From Scratch
A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home
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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.
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.
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About the Author-
  • Tembi Locke is an accomplished actor who has appeared in over sixty television shows and films, including The Magicians, NCIS: LA, Animal Kingdom, and Dumb and Dumber To. She is also a TEDx speaker. Her talk, What Forty Steps Taught Me About Love and Grief, traces her journey as a cancer caregiver. She is the creative voice behind The Kitchen Widow, an online grief support community that has received mentions in The New York Times and The Guardian. The author of From Scratch, she lives in Los Angeles with her young daughter, but can be found each summer on the island of Sicily.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 11, 2019
    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.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2019
    In her literary debut, actor and TEDx speaker Locke offers a warm memoir of romance, wrenching loss, and healing.Studying in Florence for a semester abroad, the author met Saro, a handsome Sicilian chef, whose sincerity and kindness, as well as "sultry" good looks, won her heart. "I think we could be something great," he told her, conjuring "a vision of an us and greatness so effortlessly that it suddenly seemed as right as butter on bread. I was taken aback by his boldness, his certainty." When Locke returned to college, Saro visited as often as he could, and finally he left his position, prospects, and--most wrenchingly--his family to move to the United States. They married hastily in New York with only a friend as witness; at a later celebration in Italy, though, his family refused to attend, disapproving of Saro's marrying anyone but a Sicilian--especially a black American woman. Soon the author understood why Saro put off to the last minute telling his parents that he was leaving Italy to marry. Locke's family, on the other hand, "progressive, barrier-breaking Texas black folks," were delighted--especially her father: Boisterous and gregarious, he arrived in Italy dressed "in full Texas regalia, complete with cowboy hat, denim pants, and alligator boots." Her family wholeheartedly "claimed him as their own," while Saro's family's disapproval haunted the early years of their marriage. Locke portrays their life together as otherwise idyllic: They moved from New York to Los Angeles in order to foster her acting career, and they adopted an infant daughter--until Saro's diagnosis with a rare cancer changed everything. By then, the couple's relationship with Saro's parents had thawed somewhat, and when Locke and her daughter returned to Sicily to bury Saro's ashes, they were nurtured--not only spiritually and emotionally, but with traditional, and abundant, Sicilian food. The author includes recipes at the end.A captivating story of love lost and found.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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From Scratch
A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home
Tembi Locke
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