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From Scratch
From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home | Tembi Locke
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: Saros 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 Saros 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 Saros family and his origins, now she finds solace and nourishmentliterally and spirituallyat her mother in laws 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 Saros incredible romancean indelible love story that leaps off the pages. In Sicily, it is said that every story begins with a marriage or a deathin Tembi Lockes case, it is both. Her story is about loss, but its really about love found. Her story is about travel, but its really about finding a home. It is about food, but its 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 isdelicious.
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jploves2read
Mehso-so

I liked this even though I am rating it as so-so. One of the hard things about it was the subject matter. It was heavy and it seemed more about grief so the title was not quite a match. Also the beginning was all over the place (very well written but not cohesive). Just when I thought there was a pattern it changed again. That was annoying. The overall writing is beautiful and that is what kept me reading.

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jploves2read
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Post Humberto reading. A positive side to being unable to do anything else.

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MsLeah8417
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Ah, Sicilia!

11 likes1 stack add
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Mrs_Organized_Chaos
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So far this has been a heartbreaking story. She writes about her pain in such a way it makes my own heart ache for her and her daughter.

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RealLifeReading
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Sunday morning bright and early with homemade banana pancakes and maple syrup and starting a new book that I hadn‘t heard of before until I browsed the library‘s ebook catalogue. It sounded devastating (bereavement) but because of its Sicilian setting, fascinating and possibly likely to induce pasta cravings. Have you read this yet?

94 likes1 stack add
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Avidreader25
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We made pasta sauce from this book‘s recipe & it‘s delicious! Definitely a new staple in our home.

“In Sicily, love, truth, and grief are neither simple nor straightforward. Each runs as deep as the olive trees that have dotted the island for centuries.”

"But what I loved most was that her kitchen showed me how one ingredient can be made into many different dishes. Her food spoke of malleability & resourcefulness in loss, in love, and in life."

Tamra I am envious! 2mo
26 likes1 comment
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Emiller

What an amazing book! Love, loss, family, and Italy. Halfway thru I realized the author was on one of my all time fav shows, Eureka! I highly recommend this memoir!!

24 likes1 stack add
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Avidreader25
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Pickpick

A beautiful memoir, Tembi pulls you into her grief while seducing you with descriptions of Sicilian food. You ache at her unexpected single-parenthood as she pours her remaining energy into her daughter. You feel her awkwardness as she tries to mend bridges with her Sicilian in-laws. You fall in love with Saro, while watching his decline as cancer steals his zeal for life. Hers is a meditation in grief, food, and the true meaning of love.

21 likes2 stack adds
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a.bookish.byrd
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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MellieAntoinette
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Pickpick

It‘s amazing how Tembi sewed the comforting hints of food and “otherness” - that second sense of self that happens when we lose a piece of our soul - into her journey back to the every day of the life she lives. “Coincidence and fate are two words for the same phenomenon.” Although she‘s a long way from her own personal magic hour, she is building it, one brick, one smile, one memory at time. I really enjoyed this one!

64 likes1 stack add
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MellieAntoinette
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Pickpick

“Life is still revealing itself to you. Be open to it.”

This was a beautiful memoir about grief, the aftermath of loss and ultimately the gut-wrenching steps it takes to carry it all forward into the future. With sunny hints of a Sicilian sky slipping through, tomatoes roasting on the stove and almonds to crack in the warm summer heat.

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WellReadCatLady
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Pickpick

Ugh this book was great. Tears, laughter, anger. It caused all the feels.

17 likes1 stack add
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LyndseyReads
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Pickpick

A lovely memoir about culture, love, loss, and family. The descriptions of Sicily, the food especially, made me want to book a ticket. Pronto!

I did not realize when I started this that this is Locke's memoir about her husband who passed away. (Not a spoiler; it‘s in the blurb.) So, maybe have a tissue handy.

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WellReadCatLady
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Really loving this book!

16 likes2 stack adds
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Addison_Reads
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Mehso-so

I haven't been on Litsy much because I've been at a theater conference with my nephew for the week. The background photo is a group photo of all the kiddos who attended. It was tons of fun, and we saw some amazing performances.

While there, I did manage to finish my local bookclub read. I didn't like it at first, but it grew on me as the story progressed. I just wasn't such a big fan of Tembi. My heart breaks for what she's gone through though.

wanderinglynn That sounds like a super fun week! 4mo
readordierachel What a delightful way to spend a week! 4mo
Crazeedi Missed you but sounds like a great time!!💕 4mo
24 likes3 comments
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palmerspageturners
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Pickpick

My review of this beautiful book is on the blog today! I loved this book! It will make you want to visit Sicily and eat all the Italian food❤️

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Aswenson
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Running and audio-reading. Beautiful memoir! ❤️😭
#bookfitnesschallenge

24 likes1 stack add
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marleed
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My next 3x3 grid for the #CFN. Favorite is tagged:

Fredrick: Heard you then bought you.
Tembi: You‘re a model for grieving.
Suzanna: Could have been a shorter story.
Daniel: Nope, no fortune teller.
Stella: You had me at your namesake.
Alice: Enjoyed your Nobody.
Korede: Loyalty, yikes, she‘s a grown-ass woman!
Esme and Khai: Cute couple but hey, get a room.
Andrew: Let me introduce you to Eleanor Olphiant.

#BookFitnessChallenge

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Lauren.Archer
Pickpick

This was a beautiful memoir that I could tell Locke poured her heart and soul into. I was lucky enough to listen to this on Audio and because she narrates I could her tears, her joy and every feeling that she had in between. She has such a positive outlook on life and love.

marleed This was one of my favorite books of 2019. 5mo
72 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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marleed
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Pickpick

There are many reasons to enjoy this memoir - if you are interested In biracial or bicoastal relationships, in Sicily, in food. But especially if you are, or know someone who has, experienced the death of a mate way too soon - this book moves gracefully through grief.

marleed And now I really want to plant a fava bean! 5mo
BooknerdsLife Beautiful review 🥰 5mo
marleed @BooknerdsLife Thank you. I thought it was a beautiful story. 5mo
55 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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Tera0707
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It started off beautifully and her writing is lovely, but I‘m just not in the mood for this. I have family from all over the country here at my house (for my daughter‘s graduation. Woot!), so I‘ve literally read only 65 pages in 6 days... is it weird that I feel guilty for putting it aside for now? I do want to finish it at some point. Just not right now.

marleed Sometimes a memoir requires you to be still and walk in their shoes. Hopefully, you‘ll enjoy it when things slow down. I had to move through grief a bit too young so I‘m always interested in how others traverse that crooked path. 5mo
Tera0707 @marleed I think you‘re right. I have too much going on at the moment and not able to focus on her story. Eventually it‘ll slow down and I‘ll pick it up again. ☺️ 5mo
31 likes2 comments
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Tera0707
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I‘ve only read the prologue and I already got goosebumps. 💛

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Zbayardo
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Pickpick

What a beautiful delicious love letter and testimony love transcending all obstacles.
The way she describes the food and recipes made me a) HUNGRY and b) feel the love between the two in the midst of all the ingredients and sautés.

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marleed
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#BFC Well my library is motivating me to meet my book goals in my #BookFitnessChallenge. I asked and for the 2nd and 3rd times in a week they purchased my recommended audiobooks! I just finished 6.38 miles but I tempted to get back out there for more listening pleasure!

#BFCW2MPC - Week2 motivational photo challenge. @wanderinglynn

wanderinglynn Yay for reading motivation! 🙌🏻 5mo
TheSpineView 👍 5mo
4thhouseontheleft That's awesome! I should try this with my library. There are a few audiobooks I want to listen to that they don't have. 5mo
See All 12 Comments
BookwormAHN Great job 👏🏻 5mo
marleed @4thhouseontheleft Last week was my first time making a request to my Library through Overdrive. It‘s incredibly simple so I‘m not sure why I hadn‘t used it before this challenge. So far they‘ve purchased 3/4 requests! 5mo
Caterina Awesome!! That's great motivation! I used to make requests through Overdrive, a few years ago, but they never bought any of the books I requested, even the bestsellers, so I gave up. 😂 5mo
marleed @Caterina oh that‘s too bad. My previous library in San Antonio had the nations premiere elibrary. It was awesome. That card is about to expire. It‘s taken nearly a year for me to find a lib I could join that used overdrive almost as well! And Omg - SA just bought from scratch and dropped it while typing. Now I have 2 copies! 5mo
Caterina I'm moving to Berkeley for grad school in August, so I have high hopes that my lifetime of rural Carolinas library woes will be a thing of the past! 😂 5mo
marleed @Caterina oh congratulations and good luck. I bet you‘ll have multiple cards through Berkeley. I just realized that my local card was reciprocated with several area libraries. And it‘s one of those reciprocated libraries that is nearly matching my SA experience. So be sure to check that out. 5mo
Caterina I will, thanks for the info! 👍 5mo
Megabooks Things My Son is so good! I just finished it yesterday. 5mo
marleed @Megabooks I‘m so excited to read it! I can‘t believe the books that just dropped to me from the lib. I feel like I‘m in a mega movie theater and watching every movie on the marquee! 5mo
42 likes12 comments
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suvata
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Mehso-so

#ReeseWitherspoon Book Club May 2019 pick

I‘m not much of a “foodie” so all the talk about food was not very interesting to me. Still, I really enjoyed the story of the families and communities from different cultures with their various customs. All in all, a pretty good read.

Bonus: For those who are into it, there a lot of good sounding recipes at the end of the book.

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suvata
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48 likes1 stack add
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angelbaby

This book is amazing im only on the first part and it already made me tear up
Highly recommend

21 likes1 stack add
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Frecks-Booklover4life
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Driving and ugly crying just driving and ugly crying. 😭💔

rather_be_reading oh no!! i better be careful when I read it then 5mo
marleed I understand! 5mo
5 likes2 comments
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Acoleman
Pickpick

Just finished this. Such a moving story with wonderful imagery. Makes you want to spend the day with your family making pasta and sauce from scratch.

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simplysteph
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Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick this May. I love the music intro on the audiobook

RaimeyGallant Adding to my tbr! And welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you need it. Or if you prefer how-to videos, @chelleo put some together at the link in her bio. @LitsyWelcomeWagon 5mo
simplysteph @RaimeyGallant hi! thank you 😊 i‘ll check the link for more details 😊 5mo
deadrabbitsbooks 💛 Welcome to Litsy 🐇 5mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🎈 5mo
4 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Tera0707
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Reese‘s Book Club pick looks really good. I‘ll definitely be getting this one.

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rather_be_reading
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I want to read Reese's May pick!

marleed Me too. I think I‘m going to purchase it tomorrow. I have 4 distinct library cards and it‘s not showing up at any of them. Just for kicks I decided to read all of these bookclub picks this year. 5mo
rather_be_reading @marleed i have a list to one day do tht! also all of Oprahs book club picks 5mo
marleed Ohh. Oprah‘s is a long list but that would be nice. I‘ve read quite a few. Typically, I can‘t start a new book immediately after finishing one of her picks because I so often need to sit in the story for a few days after finishing. 5mo
65 likes3 stack adds3 comments