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The Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary Seduction

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  2,484 Ratings  ·  356 Reviews
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 distracted by an intoxicating young widow who knows her way around a kitchen...Livia Pertini is creating feasts that stun the senses with their succulence—ruby-colored San Marzana tomatoes, gl ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Bantam (first published 2006)
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Connie (Ava Catherine)
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
Helvry Sinaga
Jun 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I've given this an A- for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGals

Anthony Capella’s The Wedding Officer is an enjoyable and engrossing tale set in wartime Italy, which is told through the eyes of a fish-out-of-water young British officer and the fiery Italian widow with whom he falls in love.

Naples in 1944 is now occupied by the allies, and things aren’t all that much better than they were under the Germans. Food is scarce and people are struggling to survive; there’s a thriving black market
Joel Gilbert
Jan 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: atf
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
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Rachel Aranda
After reading a summary like the one above how could a person not be tempted to read this book. Even the cover intrigued me. Until this book I had never read a book by Anthony Capella, and was astounded by the way he describes in mouthwatering detail, the preparation, cooking and eating of traditional Italian food, as he lays out the plot of the story. There aren't many books written in Italy during World War II that isn't based on the Holocaust. This book is deceiving as it looks like a book ma ...more
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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,
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gli assegno 3 stelline e mezza.
Mi piacciono i romanzi storici, soprattutto quelli ambientati durante la seconda guerra mondiale e questo ha un ulteriore pregio, quello di essere anche scritto con leggerezza, con una punta di humor che rallegra piacevolmente la lettura.
Mi è piaciuto molto il personaggio di James e l'evoluzione che compie nel corso della narrazione. All'inizio è irreprensibile, ligio alle regole e piuttosto moralista. Poi impara a fare i conti con la realtà della guerra e capisce
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
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
While I certainly liked parts of the book (the food) at times the main characters were not very easy to like. They were rude and at times seemingly ungrateful- during war, tragedies, and atrocities. The book was predictable at times and then it was "what the f*ck just happened" too .... The ending (epilogue) was satisfying.
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
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: foodie
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
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wedding Officer. Who knew there was such a job? Duties include deciding if it's OK for a British soldier to marry his Italian sweetheart by conducting interviews with the girls as a way to determine their "character". It was interesting to learn something new about WWII. I also enjoyed the food that was described so well, I could almost taste it. I'd love to go to Livia's restaurant at the foot of Vesuvius right now for some "burrata, creamy balls of mozzarella wrapped in asphodel leaves, made w ...more
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
Kate Quinn
Jul 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Na tradição de "Receitas de amor", "Noivas de guerra" tem como cenário uma Itália com a II Guerra Mundial como pano de fundo. É um livro ligeiro, muito condimentado, algo cinematográfico, onde pairam menções a receitas e pratos tradicionais italianos, que nos despertam (invariavelmente) o paladar, com a satisfação de umas boas gargalhadas pelo meio! O enredo não é algo que já não se possa ter lido, mas não deixa de ser uma história fluída e romântica, abordando a necessidade de sobrevivência por ...more
Giulia Romiti
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben scritto, la narrazione si dilata un po' troppo nella parte centrale ma gli ultimi capitoli si leggono tutti d'un fiato! L'idea di inserire elementi culinari a "contorno" della storia di Livia e del suo Paese non è particolarmente innovativa ma contribuisce a far addentrare maggiormente il lettore nello scenario sociale dell'epoca.
Vera Nordic Soul Books
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an unexpected wondrous story!

When I picked up this novel, in a second-hand store in Scotland, I was not expecting this 1£ book would become a new favourite of mine. Allow me to set the scene: It's 1943 and the beautiful Italy is raged by WII. The Wedding Officer follows the life of a sparky and lively young woman, Livia, and a young and well-mannered English officer, James. The couple struggle against the challenges of the Italian wartime and war effort, and this historical fiction combine
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
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
Sep 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: punya, roman
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
MB (What she read)
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, reviewed
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
Apr 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: oh-nine
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
Nina Draganova
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Уао! Абсолютно откровение и пир за сетивата !
Започва като романтична комедия, на места накарала ме да се смея с глас.
Минава през съвършено описание на усещания и ухания и вкусове от превъзходната италианска кухня. Последвани от чувствени любовни такива.
За да стигне до мрачния край на Втората световна война и всички съпътстващи я ужаси.
Изненадана съм , удовлетворена и много радостна да открия таланта на Антъни Капела. И за пореден път се убеждавам, че подценяването е мой специалитет. Т.е предст
Indah Threez Lestari
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english, punya
583 - 2015

'Do you lick nipples, Gems?' she said sleepily into his ear.
'I lick--I like Naples very much.'

Waktu kemarin menemukan buku ini di diskonan B&B seharga 33k, aku sempat galau. Sudah tahu rak buku terbatas, musti ya beli lagi buku versi english meskipun sudah punya terjemahannya?

Tapi... tapi... memang membaca versi aslinya jauh lebih asyik. Belum lagi kalau ada sisipan humor bahasa yang kalau diterjemahkan secara harfiah pasti jadi aneh atau hilang nuansanya.

Omong-omong, potongan perc
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  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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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
“A person can't choose where he's born. But he can choose where he spends his life.” 6 likes
“You see, love isn't just something you feel. Love is something you become. It's like - going to a new country, and realizing that you never particularly liked the place you left behind. It's like a sort of tingling and - oh, I don't know - when she smiles I just want to start clapping or something.” 4 likes
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