From Scratch

A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home
Narrated by: Tembi Locke
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (3,062 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2019!

A 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 did not approve of him marrying a black American woman, an actress no less. However, the couple, heartbroken but undeterred, forges on. They build a happy life in Los Angeles, with fulfilling careers, deep friendships, and the love of their lives: a baby girl they adopt at birth. Eventually, they reconcile with Saro’s family just as he faces a formidable cancer that will consume all their dreams.

From Scratch chronicles three summers Tembi spends in Sicily with her daughter, Zoela, as she begins to piece together a life without her husband in his tiny hometown hamlet of farmers. Where once Tembi was estranged from Saro’s family and his origins, now she finds solace and nourishment - literally and spiritually - at her mother-in-law’s table. In the Sicilian countryside, she discovers the healing gifts of simple fresh food, the embrace of a close-knit community, and timeless traditions and wisdom that light a path forward. All along the way, she reflects on her and Saro’s incredible romance - an indelible love story.

In Sicily, it is said that every story begins with a marriage or a death - in Tembi Locke’s case, it is both. Her story is about loss, but it’s really about love found. Her story is about travel, but it’s really about finding a home. It is about food, but it’s really about chasing flavor as an act of remembrance. From Scratch is for anyone who has dared to reach for big love, fought for what mattered most, and needed a powerful reminder that life is...delicious.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Tembi Locke (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

Featured Article: Our Editors Reveal—The Listen that Changed My Life


If you’re an avid listener, chances are you’ve run through more audiobooks than you can count. Whether your favorites are can’t-pause thrillers, eye-opening audio docs, or out-of-this-world sci-fi sagas, you’ve likely built up quite the listening library. But can you recall the listen that changed your life? Did it shape your worldview, offer up a new perspective, or bestow a pivotal life lesson? Read on for some listens that changed the Audible editors' lives.

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What listeners say about From Scratch

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Feels Like Home.

I’ve been to Italy a few times. My brother lived in Bologna for five years. It’s my favorite of all the countries I have traveled. The people are welcoming. The food is homemade. The language wraps itself around my heart. Tembi captures everything I love about Italy. She dares to put her heart on her sleeve and bravely leaves it for all to see. Thank you for this magical, vulnerable story that makes me crave pasta, lentils, ricotta and mint. And, makes me hope to have a life that is as rich as yours.

23 people found this helpful

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Una bella storia

This story of love and grief really touched me in. Personal way. I lost my husband of 22years just a year ago. The grief is still raw and I was hesitant to read this book but found it helped me validate so many of my emotions. However one does not have to be experiencing a loss or grief to appreciate this book. No, foodies and Italiophiles alike with lust over the descriptions of the food, smells, and landscapes of Sicily. It is beautifully narrated by the author. Her love and devotion to the memory of her husband and her daughter is beautiful. The challenges of being bi- racial and strangers to a very close knit country/ island are met with dignity and grace. I will travel this Fall back to Italy, a place my husband and I visited almost every year of our marriage. I will bring his memory with me and hope that I am able to carry on the example of Tembi’s passion for love of man and terra ferma.

40 people found this helpful

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Beautiful Story

This book actually takes you to Sicily. You can imagine the scenery, the smells, the food and wonderful relationships. I loved it!!

14 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written!!

I was hooked from the beginning!! Highly recommend this beautiful memoir written genuinely from the author’s heart👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

29 people found this helpful

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Profoundly moving story of love and tradition

Having lived in Italy, this story resonated with me in a personal way. The the details, like the subtleties of excellent olive oil -- that pepper thing that happens at the back of your throat--brought back vivid memories. Or, the simple-seeming but exquisite meals of pasta with ingredients plucked from the garden or from the sea moments before, make me crave the pasts dishes of Italy. Through her memories and descriptions, you step into the patterns of rural towns in Sicily, where the activity happens along paths worn like spokes from the town center. She creates that unworldly sense of moving into a rhythm more harmonious with our nature than our "i-noun" lives, This sweet, loving, intense book is about relationships, cultural differences, and the knee-buckling pain of loss, It is a personal story about picking up the pieces to move forward. It is authentic and crushingly poignant. Much of the fabric supporting the story is based on food and the creation of food as an expression of heritage and love. It gives you the lives of people who love the ingredients they cook with. They savor the time they put into creating the dishes as well as savoring the joy of sharing the food with others. This is a memoir. The author is the subject of the book and narrates it. A beautiful voice. A lovely narration. And, her Italian is so "native" sounding that I luxuriated in the cadence and pacing of her sentences. For me, that sliding slowly through certain vowels was something that is one of the trickiest parts of speaking the Italian language. It is particularly magical to hear it done right. And for a Texas girl, no less! :) I laughed out loud at the frequent encouragement to "Eat! Eat! We have plenty of food." A almost forgot to point out one of the most compelling aspects of this book. The author is a Black woman. So, the point of view is naturally from a Black woman. I am a white woman. Yet. I was so drawn to the character that when Tembi stated something from her perspective that was not an experience in my white history, I heard myself reading it in my voice and somehow "feeling" it in my voice, in my life. This is a remarkable thing and hard to describe. (I think it is empathy.) For example then this happened, I would stop short and think, "Hmmmm.... I just thought this thought and it is not a white point of view." For example, when she describes a boat ride to an island off Sicily. i am in her head on the boat. When she says she realizes that she and her daughter are the only people of color on the boat. I sort of gasp in my head, and "virtually" look around the boat and for that instant, i am a woman of color on this boat. I am in no way attempting to say, I can put myself in her shoes or I'm not trying to make this into "I know what she felt like." I'm not trying to appropriate her feelings or her story as a woman of color. What I am saying is that for that moment, it dawned on me how that experience could feel. I adore Tempi for putting those astonishing glimpses from her life into my head. I loved this book.

13 people found this helpful

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Loved it.

I have over 400 titles in my Audible library but only 3 of them are permanently on my phone. Now there are 4.

69 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

I have literally listened to atleast a hundred books on Audible. This is by far one of the best. I would recommend it for sure.

22 people found this helpful

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What a journey...

Transcendent. I shed tears, tasted food and wine, and journeyed with Tembi. What a beautiful experience.

9 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written and read!!

A touching memoir of a powerful and surprising love ended too early and the reconstruction that followed.

8 people found this helpful

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I didn't realize a 5 star book until this one!

I'm tremendously disappointed that I have other books 5 ratings. THIS is the 5 star rating book. I doubt many other books will deserve a 5 like this one does. beautiful story, beautiful performance, beautiful writing

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-31-20

a delightful read

it such a beautiful story with so much heart. it left me teary in so many sections and wanting more

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-21-20

Loved It

Loved everything about this memoir. It was so eloquently written and so beautifully described, I felt every emotion and could imagine every scene play out in my mind. Saro and Tembi's love is one which will transcend time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-20

Gorgeous !

I'm a practical gal, but this story will make anyone believe in true love ~ unbelievable.

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  • Mollarks
  • 05-23-20

Uninteresting

I dont understand why this made any 'must read' list. I am sorry for her loss, but this book is uninteresting, actually boring. I read 15 books during Covid-19 this one put a stop to that. I bought the audible version as I kept falling asleep while reading and thought the audible version would be more interesting if someone can pronounce the Italian words. Its still uninteresting. What I did learn though, is Life's too short to finish a boring book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-09-19

so touching

actually cried in this book very sad but very beautiful and learnt a lot about sicilian culture as well

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-29-19

AH-MAZING

Cried, wept, giggled, smiled, loved! A heart-breaking story with the mighty power of hope and love.

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  • Marcia J.
  • 05-23-19

Good for the soul

A beautiful story of life’s up and downs. Tembi paints such a beautiful picture of a little town in Sicily with its traditions and what everyday life looks life.