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From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home
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From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,831 ratings  ·  342 reviews

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 F
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Simon & Schuster
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,831 ratings  ·  342 reviews

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Erika Robuck
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the shores of California to an island in the Mediterranean, FROM SCRATCH is a rich, sensual reading experience. Equal parts uplifting and devastating, it is a memoir of soul-searching beauty. As extraordinary and unique as Tembi Locke's life is, all readers will identify with the themes of love, family, and forgiveness. Highly recommended.
From Scratch: a Memoir. . . .

This was an assignment from Reese W and Hello, Sunshine! Good thing, too, because this is not one I would have picked up and read, given my own choosing algorithms. But this was an interesting story, with all the happy accidents that result in real living (as opposed to fictionally contrived situations to fit plot points), full of crazy coincidences for which we make up plots, intervening characters engaged in divine and/or devilish interferences, with promises of ha
Cortney (cortingbooks)
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-favorites
“That morning I wanted nothing more than to know that it was possible for me to feel alive, fully alive again. The half living of life after loss was shifting. I wanted to be reminded of the bounty of life...”

Oh this precious little book touched my heart. I was tearing up at the prologue. Through Tembi’s words you can feel the love she has for her family.

I know first hand the challenges of learning to navigate the world again as a mom and widow so this book really hit home for me.

I laughed. I cr
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The love story of Tembi and Saro is one of passion, commitment, and everlasting love. Not since Paul Kalanithi’s “When Breath Becomes Air” have I been so moved by a book.. Tembi Locke conveys passion and sincerity which is deeply felt on each and every page. It is articulate, vulnerable and full of symbolism. I could not put this book down and highly recommend it.

Please note: I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review which I have provided here.
Stacey A.  Prose and Palate
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
"She had said so many things, things that were hard to hear, harder still to push through. Things the therapist and books all said were very normal. When those moments happened, when the grief was too big and it threatened to buckle the frame of the house, we'd often go to the back yard of our house and lie on the grass, put our bodies prostrate on the earth. On the blanket looking at the stars, I would tell her to give her hurt to the stars. They could take it. I told her she could say anything ...more
Marianne Fokas
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It appealed to me on many levels, I am of Italian heritage and my husband also died from cancer. I thought her writing was beautiful and the feelings expressed were so real and spot on when it comes to caregiving, and grief. It is also a story about healing and the love of family. And the food, Tembi had my mouth watering on so many occasions. I was so happy to see the included recipes! I plan on trying a lot of them. Wonderful debut novel!
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Probably would have given this book 2 stars, except that the writing really is beautiful. It just wasn't what I expected. This is a memoir about loss, period. If that's what you're here for, then you will likely get a lot out of it, but it wasn't what I was hoping for at this particular moment in my life.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
From Scratch is a beautiful story that moves through love, loss and moving on. While sad and heartbreaking, it is also a testament to love, family and community.

We meet Saro and witness a very moving romance between him and Tembi. The love they share is so strong that it overcomes thousands of miles of separation. When Saro becomes ill, their love provides strength and courage. The writing is exceptional and lyrical. The descriptions of the food and scenery are wonderful. I highly recommend Fro
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautifully written memoir. The recollection of a love that travels from one continent to another and back again. A must read.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a wonderful, yet heartbreaking memoir. Part sweeping love story, and part grief manual. It gives us a glimpse into two parts of Tembi Locke's life; how she met and fell in love with her husband Saro and built a family, and how she was able to get through her grief when Saro passed away. It is a story of love, family, grief, forgiveness and strength, with a generous helping of food (which played a main role in Tembi and Saro's relationship because he was a chef).
A truly heartwarmin
Vanessa ❤️
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written!!
Mary Dowsett
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sad, though the story was, I enjoyed the warmth and tenderness that bonded the family together. A touching life story
Mikala Hill
May 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
In all fairness, I am not the "memoir" type. But I was rooting for this one. It started off strong...and then drug on until the end. Bummer.
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Am I the only one who sometimes actually mourns the end of a book? My own healing from loss took me to Italy a few years ago. This book spoke to me in so many aspects and touched on that journey to Italy once again.
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography, 2019
I really wanted to like this, to connect with someone else who has felt grief, but it fell incredibly flat. The way it was written, I wasn't able to connect with the characters, and there was no plot. It was simply a sad woman who ate pasta. I expected to follow their love story and then feel the loss, grieving alongside Tembi, but it never happened.
Lori Palmer (Palmer's Page Turners)
I loved everything about this book. Tembi is a beautiful writer--her book made me feel like I could sit down with her and have coffee and talk for hours. The book made me smile and made me cry--the story of Saro's cancer is heartbreaking. Tembi beautifully describes their life together, and writes honestly about her grief. I haven't lost a spouse, but have experienced the loss of a parent, and related to Tembi's feelings, thoughts, anxieties, and behaviors throughout this book. Of course, this b ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
what a gorgeous, lush, rich memoir written from such an eloquent heart. I don't watch tv so not familiar with her name, but she is an exquisite author with such a powerful magic of the written word. I cannot imagine her loss and struggles, but she brought me to tears quickly. She was able to share the depth of her Sicilian family deep into my bones, coming from a cold English family, I relished the love and traditions passed down through generations. She has written an excellent memoir for her d ...more
Andrea Bolton
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s one thing to have experienced the life and love of Tembi Locke, but to be able to share it with the world as she has done, is truly remarkable. Her story and her writing are so emotional and beautiful.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
The story she had to tell was compelling but it was overwritten. It seemed like her prose was trying too hard.
Brittany Petersen (thecontinuingchronicles)
Rating: 3.5/5

I know there are many who hesitate to rate memoirs as they feel as if they are rating the author's experiences. In reality, however, we are rating the way the author relates these experiences. How they tell their story and weave their narrative. I am a firm believer that even the most dry of stories can be made fascinating if told from the lips of a talented storyteller. And Tembi Locke is definitely gifted with words.

With beautiful prose, she weaves a tale of love and loss, jumping
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5. I think that Reese and I do not have the same taste. This is the second of her book club picks that I felt was just ok. Parts of this were wonderful, beautifully written, moved me to tears. But large sections were slow and a little too sentimental. There were meant times I was counting the pages to see when it would end. I intimately know grief and I’ve read other books that fully embrace the experience and strongly echoed my experience. This was not that book.
Carolyn Hedges
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books
This is a book you have to hear. Author Tembi Locke narrates her story in such a beautiful way. The heartbreaking loss, the gorgeous Italian and the lush discoveries are part of her and the story has that extra layer in her voice. I rarely give 5 stars but this book conjured up so much beauty and emotion that it was more than listening to an audiobook- it took me to another place and unlocked worries and love I didn’t realize I had. So well done!
Jude (NYJudester) Fricano
I wanted to love this book. Sicily, food, culture, family, love .. but unfortunately I did not. The story was too drawn out, too much forced drama. There were parts that made me smile, other parts I rolled my eyes. I wish I loved it. I just didn’t feel it.
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Exquisite! I listened to the audible version narrated by the author and it was beautifully peppered with gorgeous Italian language. Tembi Locke's effortless flow from English to Italian accented phrases hooked me immediately. Her story was crafted in lyrical, romantic prose. I fell in love with every single word she told. I loved that Aliminusa, Sicily was a central character in the story. I felt like I was there, her descriptions of the area, the food, the taste of Italian food left me longing ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the audiobook of "From Scratch" by Tembi Locke. The author narrates her own book and did great. There was a fair amount of Italian sprinkled throughout the book and listening to it as an audiobook really made it more enjoyable. I'm not sure I would've appreciated reading it and think the audio version was the perfect way for me to go. The author's writing is rich in descriptions of love and Sicily that sometimes rich prose drags on for me when I'm actually reading it. The audio version ...more
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story! Such an eloquently written and read story! The authors’ ability to envelope the reader into her story enabling a variety of emotions to come forth is brilliant. I felt everything the main character felt from the joy to the confusion to the grief etc. It made me want nothing more than to see the places her scenic pictures depicted for her readers. The author reading her memoir gave so much life to this book! One of my favorite reads this year thus far!
Lauren Archer
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Lisa L Brown
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was a gift to my senses. The descriptions of Sicily and the food was amazing. I laughed and I cried. What a beautiful memoir.
Kaitlyn Comer
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I did not like Eat, Pray, Love. I didn’t connect with it and I found the main character to be completely unlikable. When I read the synopsis for this book, From Scratch, I immediately thought, here we go again. I was so, so wrong. Tembi is able to tell us a story about love, loss, finding “home”, and, most importantly, family. I chose to listen to this one which is what I recommend everyone does. Tembi not only wrote this book, but she also reads it for us on the audiobook version.
From Scratch
Jazmin Cortez
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a heart warming book. From the start of the prologue to the final words of the book i was hooked. The Story is about Tembi, and how she navigated life after becoming a widow, a young widow and her summers in Italy honoring her Husband. She paints such a beautiful picture of Sicily and Sicilian culture. Tembi really knows how to emote emotions through her words.

10/10 would recommend
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As an actor, I started my onscreen career with the iconic comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Today you can find me in roles on The Magicians, Proven Innocent, NCIS: LA to name a few or on the big screen in the upcoming feature film, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson (2019). I love my acting career and, at the center of my work on set, there is always a commitment to story and the complexity of being ...more
“The connection you are creating here is like a flower. It requires soil and sun. things that, thanks to God, are given freely. But it is you, all of us, who has to water the flower to make it grow, Without water, all relations remain small. They can't open, and eventually die” 2 likes
“Cooking is about surrender.” 2 likes
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