I'm usually not a fan of translations. Quite often, I feel as if something was lost, and the book doesn't resonate with me. But Margherita's Notebook by Elisabetta Flumeri and Gabriella Giacometti is translated from the Italian, and it's beautiful. It's lush and atmospheric, filled with life and food. It's a richly detailed, romantic novel, just what it should be.
Margherita Carletti's bad day came in threes. Her horoscope warned her. She didn't get the job her husband, Francesco, set up for her. And, when she went to get the mail, she found two unpleasant notices. The first was an eviction notice from their apartment in Rome. The other was Meg, who she thought was her husband's English tutor, but turned out to be more than that. Actually, it wasn't such bad news. "Why does Francesco always come before everything else?" No more. Margherita was able to make Francesco's favorite meal, pack her car, and leave him with a light heart.
Heading home to Roccafitta was the best thing Margherita had done in years. Rome wasn't for her. Instead, she could cook with a light heart, hoping to reopen her mother's restaurant someday. She just has to find the money to do it. When her best friend, Matteo, finds her a job as an on-call chef, she thinks it's perfect. But, then she discovers she's cooking for Nicola Rovelli, a wealthy entrepreneur. And, she already had a run-in with the man she sees as too ambitious and egotistical. Worst of all, he can't appreciate good food if he buys frozen items. And, Margherita is through with men who think they come before everything else.
Margherita's Notebook was everything I hoped it would be when I saw the cover. It's a sensual story about food and romance, Italian life, the countryside, the music and dance. Margherita is a spirited woman with a goal and determination, but along with that spirit comes passion. The book includes an extensive collection of recipes, recipes Margherita prepares for Nicola. The food sounds wonderful, but it's Margherita's passion for food, for cooking and good ingredients, for savoring food and life that makes the recipes sound wonderful.
If you can't pack your bag and head to Italy, Flumeri and Giacometti will introduce you to the Italy you expect, romantic, sensual, full of food and life and love. Margherita's Notebook is called "A Novel of Temptation". Oh, it is.
Margherita's Notebook by Elisabetta Flumeri and Gabriella Giacometti. Washington Square Press. (2013,2016). ISBN 9781476786025 (paperback), 308p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.