Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturini

Keeping the Feast

A story of food and love, injury and healing, Keeping the Feast is the triumphant memoir of one couple's nourishment and restoration in Italy after a period of tragedy, and the extraordinary sustaining powers of food, family, and friendship. Paula and John met in Italy, fell in love, and four years later, married in Rome. But less than a month after the wedding, tragedy struck. They had transferred from their Italian paradise to Warsaw and while...

Details Keeping the Feast

TitleKeeping the Feast
Release DateFeb 18th, 2010
PublisherRiverhead Hardcover
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, Autobiography, Memoir, Cultural, Italy, Travel, Biography

Reviews Keeping the Feast

  • Trisha
    3.5 stars. Butturini writes beautifully about food and the power and influence of gathering at the table. She shares childhood memories of meals in addition to how she prepared food as a way to preserve her own sanity, preserve some kind of normalcy in life when everything seems so abnormal, and nourish her husband's body and spirit as he battled depression. Her observations about food and the table made me thankful once again for every minute I'...
  • Mary
    I read Keeping the Feast after hearing the author speak at a conference. She talked about writing and cooking to cure depression. Something about that combination of topics intrigued me, but I didn't begin her book for a year. Once started, I read through in a couple of days. The paragraphs below are from my blog that I wrote the minute I finished the book."Having just finished reading Paula Butturini’s Keeping the Feast, food is much on my min...
  • Lucille Zimmerman
    I read this book a year ago and was touched by the author's ability to paint a picture of trauma and the ensuing depression that often follows. Shortly after suffering her own tragedy while involved in overseas reporting, her husband becomes victim of his own tragedy. I was impressed by Butturini's ability to keep her hope in the midst of such loss and despair. Intuitively she knows what they both need. She moves them to Rome where the sunshine, ...
  • Aarti
    Summary:Paula Butturini grew up in a very Italian family, where everyone came together at the end of the day to share a good meal and stories. She held tight to this tradition through moves across the US and Europe, through a marriage and early divorce, through the shattering knowledge that her mother suffered from severe depression. When Butturini met John Tagliabue- a reporter for the New York Times- in Rome, she was grateful to have finally fo...
  • Michelle
    Here's my review for AP:¶ "Keeping the Feast: One Couple's Story of Love, Food, and Healing in Italy" (Riverhead Books, 272 pages, $25.95), by Paula Butturini: Foreign correspondents Paula Butturini and John Tagliabue had been married less than a month when Tagliabue was shot while covering the overthrow of Nicolae Ceaucescu in Romania.¶ Butturini got the news on Christmas Eve. It took days for her to get to Romania and to have her husband airl...
  • Dana Slaughter
    pg 89: Neither of us know the word wundzucker, literally ' wound sugar', but a few days later John noticed what looked like sandy crumbs in his sheets, as if he had been eating cookies in bed. It was only then that he realized that the white crystals the doctors had been pouring into his back twice a day were nothing more than sterilized sugar, administered after he had been bathed in a diluted chamomile extract, and his wound had been hosed out....
  • Jade Keller
    I enjoyed this memoir, especially with the long descriptions of food interwoven between memories, as both metaphor and example of the role nourishment plays in loving, hurting, and healing. I thought I might get annoyed with the endless talk of food, but I am a foodie after all, and this book was just simply delicious. The only thing that was really frustrating for me was that the real reason I picked up the book--its description making a big poi...
  • Elizabeth
    While on assignment in Rome, Paula Butturini, a foreign correspondent for UPI, met John Tagliabue, himself a correspondent for the New York Times. Talking for hours over meals they loved cooking as much as eating, they fell in love (John later confessed, " I knew very quickly that wherever you were would be home."). Little did they suspect when John was reassigned as the Warsaw bureau chief and Paula was hired by the Chicago Tribune as their East...
  • Liz
    Paula Butturini writes of her family’s struggles with depression: her mother had bouts of depression all of her life before committing suicide when she was in her seventies, and Paula’s husband lapsed into a debilitating depression after recovering from a life-threatening gunshot wound sustained while reporting in Romania shortly after their marriage. Through it all, the simple, basic acts of cooking and eating lent a sense of normalcy to the...
  • Handd51
    I went to see Paula at Brazos Books last week because she is a college classmate. I read the book becuase her story in that hour last week sounded compelling. The book is remarkable. The events of her life, with her journalist husband and her own journalistic assignments, have not been easy. The grace with which she handled the various crises is admirable. And the strength of the book is its offer of an example of a family that has faced the dept...
  • Susan
    Butturini writes about food beautifully...and abundantly...and as someone who loves words and loves food, I could appreciate her sensuous imagery...for awhile. Both the accounts of meals and her family's struggles with her husband's depression (albeit heartbreaking and real)became repetitive after awhile. In some cases, she used the exact same descriptive words and phrases within pages of each other. I did enjoy the flashbacks to her childhood of...
  • Tim
    I picked this book up as much for the cover as any other reason. Fully believing I had in my had a different boo by pretty much the same name. The subject matter is not the easiest to read, but I highly recommend the book. Especially if you are any kind of foodie. I learned a few things, and got many ideas for what I should be cooking... Paula's thoughts and style put me in mind of Judith Jones. Food & meals can be the main track that keeps a per...
  • Katie
    It is rare to find a memoir on Italy that doesn't fall into the world of cliche. This book manages to discuss food, Italy, and family and keep it fresh and interesting the whole way through. Not only that, but she is able to present a powerful story about the devastating effects of depression on a family. At times sad, the author is able to make us feel the difficult times that her family faces but also allows us to feel joy and peace with them a...
  • Kathy
    This is a lovely book I highly recommend. Bone-baring honesty shines the light on life's problems that visit us all. At once it carries a beautifully coordinated theme of family, love and tradition through food, counterpointed with the pain of trauma, depression and disappointment. Warning: reading this book may bring about cravings for not only food, but a trip or two to Rome.
  • Leah
    If you, like me, wanted "Eat Pray Love" to end after the "eat" portion, this is your book. "Keeping the Feast" is a beautifully written food memoir about loving someone battling depression. In many ways, it felt like "The Year of Magical Thinking" meets "Under the Tuscan Sun." I'm glad I stumbled across this one and took my time reading it.
  • Jeana
    A slow read. I liked the descriptions of Italy and the food. But sometimes the writing was a little loose and could have been edited a little more tightly, IMHO. The story dragged a little (especially the slow recovery and the depression) and it seemed to take me forever to read, but I liked it well enough.
  • Meg Marie
    Another food/life memoir that made me want to travel and stuff my face full of food. The author and her husband are both reporters in Europe in the early 90s and suffer a series of on the job injuries, and heal through food and therapy.
  • Cathy
    I absolutely loved this book. Magnificently written with courage, grace and overwhelming inspiration. The author tells of the pleasures of eating and cooking while encountering depression and tragedy. I was left deeply moved and I will never forget this book.
  • Sue Flanagan
    True story of a reporter that was shot and his long battle back to health. Big part of book was author' husbands fight with depression. Book was a bit tedious but descriptions of food were phenomenal...really made me want to cook, which is pretty close to a miracle!
  • Carol
    This is one of those books that must be savored. The lives described and shared must be absorbed slowly into your soul. They must be appreciated for their resilience. We all need to keep the may save us.
  • Jill Upchurch
    It read like a self-involved therapeutic diary, which i guess is basically what it is. the writing and construction are not enough to cover the "who cares?" factor.
  • David
    A very interesting book on the power of food, rituals, and love in the wake of depression. I didn't expect much from the book, but ended up really liking it.
  • Melissa Bowen
    This was just a lovely book. A beautiful, touching memoir of recovery from disaster. I marvel at the author's patience and tenacity.
  • Christie
    Wasn't as upbeat & Romantic as I thought...Loved all the "food" talk, references etc. The Depression bouts were Depressing!! But an interesting read!
  • Denise Grinols
    I loved the parts about Italy and the food.
  • Robyn
    Slightly jarring combination of food memoir and depression/injury memoir. 2.5 stars
  • Oana
    Nice story, just wish it had more detail and more specific stories.
  • meheadhurts
    4.5 ending felt a bit rushed?
  • Jill Meyer
    "Keeping the Feast" is Paula Butturini's moving account of several years in the mid-1990's when she and her new husband were struck by a series of personal disasters and how they healed themselves. Butturini and her husband, John Tagliabue, met in Rome in the late 1980's when they were both foreign correspondents, she for UPI and he for the New York Times. Both were American-born, but of Italian parentage. They fell in love, both with Rome and wi...