From Scratch by Tembi Locke

From Scratch

A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICKNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA 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: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family d...

Details From Scratch

TitleFrom Scratch
Release DateApr 30th, 2019
PublisherSimon & Schuster
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews From Scratch

  • Erika Robuck
    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.
  • Moonkiszt
    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 ...
  • Cortney
    “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 w...
  • Susan Meissner
    What a beautiful tribute to love in all its forms, even the love you still feel when you are mourning. That love is its own kind of love, as true, as powerful, as life-shaping as the kind you'd easily been able to express before everything changed. I loved especially these lines on p. 176. "...throughout life, we revisit the empty spaces. That was her understanding of grief. That we are always trying to reconcile memory with reality..." This is w...
  • Jessie
    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.
  • Rachel
    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.
  • Rebecca
    This was the perfect book for me to read during a week in Italy. Not only is it set largely in Sicily, but it ticks a lot of boxes in terms of my reading interests: food, travel, bereavement, and the challenges of being an American overseas. During a semester abroad in Florence, Tembi Locke (an actress I was previously unfamiliar with) met and fell in love with Saro Gullo, an Italian chef. His parents could hardly accept him marrying someone from...
  • Isa
    A beautifully written testament of accepting life with all that life has to give, of love for another human being, love for parents, love for children and love for one's origins and birth place....
  • Stacey A. Prose and Palate
    "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. The...
  • Jodie
    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 w...
  • Mellie Antoinette
    “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, it’s amazing how Tembi sewed the comforting hints of food and “otherness” - that second sense of self t...
  • Sylvia
    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. T...
  • Mikala Hill
    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.
  • Holly
    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...
  • 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.
  • Sarah
    The story she had to tell was compelling but it was overwritten. It seemed like her prose was trying too hard.
  • Marianne Fokas
    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...
  • Lisa
    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.
  • Robin
    Amazing book. One of best memoirs I've ever read. Ever.
  • Chandra
    A beautifully written memoir about love, family, food, and grief. Be prepared to cry a lot at certain parts!
  • Laura
    A beautifully written memoir. The recollection of a love that travels from one continent to another and back again. A must read.
  • 2TReads
    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 relati...
  • Vanessa ❤️
    Beautifully written!!
  • Mary Dowsett
    Sad, though the story was, I enjoyed the warmth and tenderness that bonded the family together. A touching life story
  • Scilla
    Amazing! I am not a memoir genre reader, but this was easy and so entertaining! I loved hearing Tembi’s stories from Sicily! Reads as though your girlfriend is just talking to you about her life experiences! For those fans of Elena Ferrante you will feel the same old world feel while reading this memoir. I come from a portuguese background in Sao Miguel and even though the language and people are different it has reminded me of stories I’ve h...
  • Sandra
    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, th...
  • 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...
  • Onceinabluemoon
    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 generati...
  • Elizabeth
    This is a beautifully written memoir about love, loss, grief and family and everything in between. It was such a lovely ready, it read more like fiction in some ways. It was also packed with so many great and powerful messages. It honestly only lost a star for me because I wanted more. I wanted more insight, thoughts and feelings. I highly recommend this to everyone.
  • Amanda
    I think I just spent my whole afternoon crying — tears of grief, tears of joy. Thanks for the ride.