From Scratch Movie – Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller is “a moving story of love lost and found” (Kirkus Review) set in the lush Sicilian countryside, where a woman discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace. the darkest hours.
It was love at first sight when actor Tembi met chef Saro on Florence Street. There was just one problem: Saro’s traditional Sicilian family would not allow him to marry a black American woman. However, the spouses, desperate but not giving up, continued. They built a happy life in Los Angeles with fulfilling careers, deep friendships and the love of their lives; a baby girl they adopted at birth. They finally reunited with Saro’s family when he faced a terrible cancer that would end all their dreams.
From Scratch Movie
Based on the novel, Thembi spends three summers in Sicily with her daughter Zoella as she begins to live without her husband in her country house. Where Tembi was once separated from Saro’s family, she now finds comfort and sustenance, literally and spiritually, at her mother-in-law’s table. In the Sicilian countryside, he sees the healing gifts of fresh food, the embrace of a close-knit community, and the timeless traditions and wisdom that light the way forward. All the while, he thinks about his love with Saro, a wonderful love story that leaps off the pages.
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In Sicily, they say that every story begins with a marriage or a death, in the case of Tempi Locke, both. “Locke’s raw and heartfelt memoir will uplift readers suffering the loss of loved ones” (Publishers Weekly), but her story is also about love, finding home, and the pursuit of pleasure as an act of memory. From Scratch is for anyone who has ever dared to love deeply, who has fought for what matters most, and who needs a powerful reminder that life is… good.
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This Start Reading group guide includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for promoting your book club, and a Q&A with author Temby Locke. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope these suggestions will enrich your conversation and enhance your enjoyment of the book.
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East Texas aspiring actor Themby Locke meets Saro Gullo, a Sicilian chef, while studying abroad in Florence, and their connection is immediate. Her family, however, is slow to accept an African-American woman into their family. Decades later, Thembi and Saro have built successful lives, families and careers in Los Angeles; Saro now faces a long battle with cancer. Overcome with grief, Thembi and her daughter spend the following summer in Sicily with Saro’s mother, seeking comfort, food, and a new definition of home.
1. Discuss how the structure of the book shapes your understanding of Tempi’s story. How does Libra inform her emotional journey as a widow? Why do you think he chose to write his memoirs this way?
2. Tembi admits that his decision to go to Sicily after Saro’s death defies conventional wisdom. Why do you think he decided to leave? If you were in his place, would you do the same?
3. How does Nonna and Tempi’s relationship change over the course of the three summers shown in the book? What are the major changes that bring them closer together?
From Scratch (2005)
6. Throughout the book, Temby uses food and cooking as symbols of passion, healing, and power, from “cooking is like surrender” (p. 69) to “life separated my taste from my serum” (p. 222). ). What was your favorite part of using this motif?
7. An adoption agency assistant tells Locke that “at the heart of adoption is this love and this loss, all at once. Your daughter will know this feeling one day. It means knowing that he has to say goodbye to greet her. That your love as a family was finally there” (page 130). How do these words take on new meaning for Thembi and Zoella after Saro’s death?
8. How does Zoella comfort and challenge Thembi after Saro’s death? Did Tempi’s description of parenting through grief surprise you in any way?
9. The Sicilian landscape, the “heritage of stones” of the Temple, is its character in this memoir. Discuss how the environment reflects and challenges his feelings at different points in his story.
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10. In his quest to find Saro’s family member and Aliminusa, Thembi must cross barriers of language, race, and class. Discuss the times when she feels most alienated and the ways in which she is able to understand and respect each other despite seemingly insurmountable differences.
11. Reread the section beginning with Locke’s knowledge on page 239: “I had married Sarah three times; that we spent in the pits of cancer; and she with whom I was now, who is his widow. What do you think of this statement and its predictions for the future?
13. Discuss the meaning of the book’s title. In what ways does Tembi start his life “from scratch” and in what ways does he build from an already existing foundation?
2. Tembi finds solace in Rumi’s poetry during Saro’s illness and after his death. Have each member of your book club choose a Rumi poem to read to the group and discuss why the poems resonated with them.
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3. Stream your movie from scratch. Which actors would you like to play the main characters and why?
This question has been swelling in my heart for years. Some of them before crossing Saro. I realized that our love stories are few and beautiful. However, three years after her death, I was living in Sicily with Zoella, and across from us was Nonna. We were at the dinner table at the end of a summer-like day. And I had an idea. How did we get here, especially considering where we started AND considering that there is no single person connecting us? That question is like writing a book. However, it took another two years, exactly the fifth year since his death, before I felt ready to write it. I wanted to be brave enough to tell the story.
I keep notes, journal, and use photos and music to start the writing process. I write both quickly and for long periods of time, but rarely write continuously for more than three hours at a time. For me, small is big. Medium short sections tend to have a large output. And I write anywhere and everywhere. Seriously. I wish I could say I have a set place and time, but my life isn’t like that. I wrote in parking lots. YES! However, sometimes I go for two or three days at a time, alone, and delve into the story. Those are the moments I enjoy and they make me feel comfortable as I work to complete the full text.
I have found that any time we write about an event, it changes our memories of the event. In “writing from scratch,” I had to make sense of events and actions that I had previously considered separate. Drawing a line from one set of events to another, I discovered a connection that had been hidden from me. Writing the book gave me the gift of perspective.
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There were difficulties in recreating my past on the page. a mental journey to relive and make sense of some of my experiences that still needs to be explored before it can be shared. All these problems happened when I wrote about my last days with Saro and went to Sicily for the first time without him. I had to give myself permission and then gather the courage to do it all over again. In the end, I’m glad I did.
Are you writing for a specific audience, or does the intended reader play no role in your writing?
I wrote this book as a love letter to my daughter. In that sense, I always had him in mind as a future reader. Also, sometimes I felt like I was writing with Saro. But mostly I have written to people who have shared great loss,
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