Margherita’s Recipes for Love
Tuscany, food, wine and love lured me to open the pages of what I hoped would provide a few days of escape from the dreariness of winter. But even though these seductive ingredients are sprinkled throughout (and in the bonus back section of recipes), they seem mixed with an overly heavy hand. When her husband’s infidelity becomes too much to bear, talented cook Margherita leaves him and Rome, and returns home to Tuscany to reassess her life and spend time with her father Armando. While there, she has an absurd encounter with a frozen-food-loving businessman, involving an over-full shopping bag and a squid. On meeting Mr Tall, Dark and Hunky, the culinary similes pour out of her: “he was like a fancy cream puff, not just some sponge cake you might wolf down for breakfast...” They’re chalk and cheese but in that alternate world where opposites attract, they make a love connection. On finishing the book, though, I felt the sub-plot of Armando’s romance with his tango instructor was far more intriguing than the lead story. Originally written in Italian, perhaps the subtleties of amore got lost a little in translation.