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The Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary Seduction
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The Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary Seduction

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  1,785 ratings  ·  294 reviews
In the sumptuous tradition of Chocolat and Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and already optioned for a major motion picture, comes a magical tale of romantic passion, culinary delight—and Italy.

Captain James Gould arrives in wartime Naples assigned to discourage marriages between British soldiers and their gorgeous Italian girlfriends. But the innocent young officer is soon dis
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Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Bantam (first published 2006)
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Food-Related Fiction
24th out of 336 books — 442 voters
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War/Romance novels
78th out of 314 books — 391 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Helvry Sinaga
Sembari membaca novel ini (sekitar Juni 2009), saya berkenalan dengan seorang tentara yang sudah berdinas lama di kesatuan TNI. Niatnya yang memang benar-benar kepingin masuk tentara, dibuktikannya dengan mengikuti seleksi masuk menjadi tentara sampai enam kali! Baginya, menjadi tentara adalah keinginan terbesarnya dari kecil. Ia sangat mensyukurinya, dari tamtama hingga perwira, ia sangat menikmati profesi sebagai tentara.

Ketika profesi menjadi sesuatu yang menyenangkan, tentu tidak sulit menja
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Joel Gilbert
My most recommended book for 2008. Fans of many genres will enjoy this example of great story-telling and rich characters. So, when you someone asks "What is this book about?" - I respond "Well, what is not about!?" (Okay, so I won't regurgitate the synopsis in which much more experience reviewers have taken such great care).

This book has almost everything. Passion, food, characters, passion for food, passion for others! Reading this book took me back to Napoli (I had the pleasure of visiting tw
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Kate
Anthony Capella - The Wedding Officer (Sphere, London, 2007)

This is the first of my summer reads, and what a summer read it is!

The setting is the Bay of Naples, 1944. Naples has been occupied by the Allies, and the ongoing rationing makes it hard for the people to survive. Restaurants have been shut down, but operate officially, and one can get hold of almost anything on the black market. Most of the women of Naples are forced to prostitute themselves to soldiers in order to support themselves,
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Sammie
After reading the synopsis on the back of the book, I was quite excited to read it; however, I walked away a little disappointed.

Set in WWII, it begins with Livia Pertini, living in a town on Mt Vesuvius. She is a cook at her family osteria, which is like a tavern of sorts. It later introduces Cpt. James Gould, a British officer. It is Gould's job to prevent the soldiers from marrying Italian women.

The book started off quite slow for me. Since I am an avid reader, I will read the first few chapt
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Connie
In 1944 the British occupies Naples, Italy; however, the generals in London are not concerned with a counterattack by Mussolini's fascists or the German Nazis since the enemy is reeling from the Allied armies' thrusts. The most prominent concern is the fraternization between British officers and young Italian girls, whose men are off fighting in the war or are dead.

Captain James Gould is sent to prevent weddings between the soldiers and the local girls. He is dubbed The Wedding Officer by the l
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Kate Quinn
Another enchanting read from Anthony Capella, filled with good food, great scenery, and marvelous characters. James Gould is your typical upright and well-behaved Englishman, stationed in a small town near Naples during World War II and stuck with a difficult job: discouraging soldiers from marrying their Italian girlfriends. Even more difficult when he starts falling in love with an Italian girl himself: Livia, the pretty and prickly barracks cook who eventually introduces James to Italian food ...more
Jennuineglass
As a lover of "foodie" books I was quite excited to fall into the pages of this summer reading book and devour its sumptuous banquet of characters, sex, war and general homage to the five senses.

It was sold as a cross between Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Chocolat...and lives up to neither book. Like a plain child of two beautiful adults, this book was fine. Adequate. Would hold you over if there was nothing else...but it was not transportive or particularly rich in any of the measures of lite
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Bunga Mawar
Bukunya tebal, 568 halaman. Tidak heran kalau ceritanya boleh belok-belok. Dari judul dan sampul depannya sudah jelas ya, kalau ini buku roman. Dan memang iya. Maunya pasti romantis, karena setting-nya di Italia, masa Perang Dunia II pula.

Yuk, lihat ceritanya. Ada gadis desa yang pintar masak yang tinggal di lereng Gunung Vesuvius. Namanya Livia. Ia bertemu dan menikah dengan prajurit muda bernama Enzo, yang kemudian mati dalam perang melawan Sekutu di Rusia. Italia pun diduduki Sekutu, pahit ge
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Eleanor
The premise gave way to the feeling that this would be a good read, but the actuality fell short. The majority of the book was interesting a bit long winded in places but enjoyable is a light not much thought way. But the last quarter of the book let it down. It felt as though well what else can be chuck at the plot, the author had at his fingertips lots of factual information for this period of Italian history well lets use it even if it doesn't do much to enhance the story, because it didn't t ...more
Book Concierge
Captain James Gould is a young British intelligence officer during World War II. He arrives in Naples to take over as “the Wedding Officer” – assigned to discourage marriages between British soldiers and Italian girls. He is young, somewhat innocent, and determined to follow all regulations to the letter. He seems to be succeeding when a young widow arrives as the new Officers’ Mess Cook. Livia Pertini has always cooked in her family’s restaurant/bar in the small village on Mount Vesuvius. Her f ...more
MB
Apr 08, 2013 MB rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Book clubs? Do you fantasize about Sophia Loren?
2.5 stars
Very cinematic. I could almost hear the soundtrack swelling behind me as I read through this book. Several plot points were obviously included for their visual drama rather than as relevance to the plot (view spoiler)

The problem for me with this book was that although it was intended as a romance, I found the plot to be distinctly unromantic. Every single female (except for a elderly martyr, a child prostitute
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Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara
Ahh..pastinya ini lebih bagus daripada kisah Tomasso di Food of Love..konfliknya unik.. dari kisah cinta, kisah kemanusiaan dibalik perang dunia ke-2, masalah birokrasi sampai kejadian/bencana alam masuk juga didalamnya..dan tentu saja kuliner Italia Selatan..Neopolitan.. yang mmhh..yummy..yummy.. :)

Kisah dibuka ketika Livia Pertini, juru masak osteria disebuah desa yang bernama Fiscino..bertemu dengan tentara Italia (posisi Italia adalah sekutu Jerman) yang tengah bersiap untuk melakukan pertem
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an
bukan cerita cinta biasa

melihat judul dan cover na yang seakan berbunga-bunga, maka perkiraan isi na akan penuh dengan cinta-cinta. awal na malas membaca buku dengan genre seperti ini tapi karena diobral hanya 10 ribu dengan buku setebal ini, kanapa engga' mencoba memiliki na.

dan ternyata... isi na tidak semurah harga na. kisah cinta yang diawali dengan konflik perang, konflik budaya dan konflik kepentingan. berlatar belakang italia pada masa perang dunia, cinta antara penduduk lokal dan pasukan
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Emily
The book is about a guy, James, who is stationed in Naples as an intelligent agent and Wedding Officer who has to approve of all marriages of British Soldiers and when he takes over he starts making people follow the rules really maybe a bit to much even. Then there is the girl, Livia, who lives in a village outside Naples and cooks for the family restaurant. Livia is married before the war to the soldier and he is killed in the war, but Livia still won't break her marriage vows fighting against ...more
Uci
Sebuah kisah cinta klasik. Terjadi di tengah peperangan, melibatkan dua manusia berbeda negara. Kisah cinta berlatar belakang sejarah memang selalu menarik, karena penulis bisa memanfaatkan seabrek data yang aslinya memang sudah menarik, tinggal dikutak-kutik dan ditambahkan bumbu-bumbu penyedap. Ditambah lokasi cerita yang sangat eksotis, maka jadilah.

Tapi yang membuat buku ini sangat berkesan bagi saya sebenarnya deskripsi makanan Italia yang bertebaran di sana-sini. Membayangkannya saja suda
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Shannon
Having read Capella's first book, I was very excited to read how he would weave words together in order for me to actually taste the Italian meals that the character Livia makes. I was disappointed, however, as the book started off strong and detailed the lives of Italians during World War II in a way I had not yet previously considered and then dragged on and on and on.

James Gould is an officer for the British army who meets and falls in love with Livia despite being unable to marry her. The p
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sinta nisfuanna
Berlatarkan Perang Dunia kedua, kisah romansa antara Livia Pertini dan James Gould bergulir. Sebuah kisah yang mengambil setting tempat di Negara Italia. James Gould adalah seorang pejabat pernikahan, yang bertugas untuk menghalangi para tentara sekutu menikah dengan wanita Italia. Semula Gould adalah pejabat pemerintahan yang tegas dan berhati dingin. Segala pengajuan pernikahan yang mengatasnamakan, tentara dan wanita italia, pasti akan ditampik dengan berbagai alasan. Tidak hanya masalah pern ...more
penelopewanders
On loan from Alex. Had read and loved The Food of Love by this author, and am quite caught up in this one as well!

Half way through I was talking to a friend and said it reminded me a lot of Captain Corelli's Mandolin. After finishing the book, I read all the little tidbits, kind of licking the plate, so to speak, and saw that on the back cover they make the comparison too. So I'm not very original but I do agree. What a great book. Frequently I was laughing out loud, or close to tears, or angry
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Michelle
I thought this book was just beautiful. I would read every word Anthony Capella ever wrote. I wonder if he can cook like he can write about cooking and food? I'd bet money that he can. He does things with food and sex and love all together that I just wouldn't think possible. I will never think of peas and snails in the same way again, that's for sure! But so lovely, so tastefully done. (Pun not intended!) For me this is the Holy Trinity, a beautifully written book about food, and romance, with ...more
Carol
Nov 24, 2008 Carol rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carol by: Lafayette Book Store
I had mixed feelings about this book; in part b/c it was billed as a good summer read / feel good romance, which it really wasn't at all. The history part regarding WWII in Italy was very interesting, and the food bits were fabulous. The romance was good, but there were a few trite, worn-out misunderstandings that I could have done without.

It did have, as so many other books and movies, a good "saving grace" ending which almost made it rank a bit higher, but not enough for me.

Perhaps if I had
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Kate Forsyth
I loved this book too! What a delight. The story of a love affair between a British officer and his tempestuous Italian cook in the final years of the Second World War, it would make a wonderful movie. I'd pay to see it, for sure. I've read two earlier books by Anthony Capella, The Food of Love and The Empress of Icecream, and like them, this book is full of fabulous descriptions of food. I cooked my family an Italian feast once I'd finished this book, though I had to look up some of the recipes ...more
Kristy
This book combined some of my favorite things....romance, delicious food, history, and vivid descriptions of life in Italy during world war II. The characters were all interesting, three-dimensional people. It was a very fast read despite its more than 400 pages. The last few chapters showed a gritty reality which was a departure from the earlier chapters of the book although serious issues were woven in throughout. Like most romances, the ending was happy bringing a wistful tear to my eye. Very ...more
Fiona
This is the second book I've read by Anthony Capella, and again he describes in mouthwatering detail, the preparation, cooking and eating of traditional Italian food, as he lays out the plot of the story. I enjoyed this book and had no idea that Mount Vesuvius erupted towards the end of the 2nd World War. Nor did I realise just how close to Naples the volcano actually is. The book is an enjoyable read, though the last few chapters went off at a bit of a tangent that i could have done without.
Beth
Overall I would recommend this as a light read, though it got a bit far-fetched at times. It is about 50% love story, 25% war story, 25% food story. I guess I would categorize it as historical fiction, because it all takes place in Naples during WWII. Though the events are all based on true events, the fact that so many things happened to the main characters is where it gets a bit far-fetched feeling at times. However, if you like historic fiction and don't want anything too heavy, this is perfe ...more
Danielle
I enjoyed this book but felt that the ending did not live up to the first half. The first half is very well done: a love story during war, a realistic view of Italy during the Allies liberation, the eruption of Vesivuis during 1944. Very interting and great inclusion of food in the story. The ending is a chaotic and unrealistic "chase" that I think is a little unbeliavabilt. I would still recommend this book for a good summer read.
Astuti Purbaningsih
L'appetito viene mangiando. Selera datangnya karena makan.

Buku ini tentang?
The Wedding Officer menceritakan tentang kisah tentang Livia Pertini dan James Gould. Livia Pertini adalah gadis Napoli, Itali yang pandai memasak (benar-benar pandai, she born to cook, begitulah kurang lebih), sedangkan James Gould adalah kapten Inggris yang ditugaskan di Napoli setelah wilayah tersebut berhasil ditaklukkan tentara Sekutu dari penguasaan tentara Jerman.
Diceritakan dalam sinopsis The Wedding Officer, bah
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Powells.com
Delicious food prepared by a beautiful woman: What man could resist? It may be Captain Gould's job to discourage marriage between wartime soldiers and their gorgeous Italian girlfriends, but when Livia Pertini is hired as the soldiers' cook, the rules seem to fly out the window. This is a beautiful novel filled with love, laughter, and sumptuous dishes.
Recommended by Linda, Powells.com
Al Lopez
An entertaining book - good summer read - but quite shallow and superficial. Given the setting and subject matter, the author could have woven a far deeper more meaningful story that would have captivated me with more intensity. If in the mood for a lighthearted and entertaining read that doesn't strain the mind or challenge the reader very much then this book serves the purpose well.
Silvana
Felizmente que a descoberta de novos autores nem sempre é um processo desagradável. Noivas de Guerra de Anthony Capella foi uma excelente descoberta e será um escritor do qual pretendo ler outros trabalhos.

De um modo geral posso dizer que este livro nos apresenta uma narrativa bastante interessante. Pela primeira vez sou levada à Itália como palco dos acontecimentos da 2ª Guerra Mundial. É interessante assistir à posição deste país na guerra enquanto aliado da Alemanha, ao mesmo tempo que assist
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Relyn
Jul 28, 2009 Relyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: food loving Italiophiles
Recommended to Relyn by: a random blog I surfed by
Oh, man can this guy write about cooking. What I'd really like to read from him is a cookbook with lush illustrations. Yup. That'd do it. This was nice, but not great. Or perhaps I wasn't in the right mood. The war part was a little to realistic for my summer reading mode.
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Anthony Capella was born in Uganda, Africa in 1962. He was educated at St Peter’s College, Oxford, where he graduated with a First in English Literature. The Food of Love, his first novel, was a Richard and Judy Summer Read in the UK. It has been translated into nineteen languages and has been optioned for the screen by Warner. His second novel, The Wedding Officer, was an international bestseller ...more
More about Anthony Capella...
The Food of Love The Various Flavours Of Coffee The Empress Of Ice Cream Love and Other Dangerous Chemicals Undressing

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