librarianka's Reviews > Amore and Amaretti: A Tale of Love and Food in Italy

Amore and Amaretti by Victoria Cosford
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's review
Apr 24, 2012

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bookshelves: biography, cookbooks, depression, food, friendship, italy, joie-de-vivre, restaurant, sad, dining
Read from April 23 to 24, 2012

The title and the cover suggested a more fluffy, chicklit like title than it is. Amaretti are Italian macaroons, sweet little nothings to nibble on. To me however there is an equal measure of bitterness to the sweetness in the book. It's more Amore and Amaro. We are offered a journey into the inside life of restaurant workers through the Australian author's various stints in Italy's restaurants over her lifetime. Yes, there is a lot of beautiful food, great recipes, yes there are love affairs as well. There is beautiful Italy and memorable characters. But to me it is a book about Victoria's blues. It feels as if she suffers from depression and cannot quite climb out of it. Victoria's repeated travels to Italy, the country she got tied to from the first time she went there as a student, seem to be an attempt to reach out, to connect with purpose, with people, with life. The people Victoria meets also struggle and are also imperfect. There is an underlying suffering and inability to cut through it, and this is what makes the story very poignant. This is such a different book in tone that previously read by me As the Romans Do. As I immerse myself in books on Italy this one makes me more aware that all the different offerings by various authors are in the end their very personal experience, the portrayals of their inner state and how it relates to the country they are in. I meet different Italy each time I read a new book. When I go there it will be yet another Italy I will see, filtered through my own mind and my own senses. In the meantime I am having a great time enjoying my various vicarious experiences.

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