The author of this book, Hannah Tunnicliffe is a New Zealander, but has lived all over the world. She currently lives in New Zealand and is the founder and co-author of a blog called Fork and Fiction, which encompasses her two loves – books and food. This is Hannah’s second novel, her first being The Colour of Tea.
Okay this is a love story and follows that trope for part of the book, but it also involves an Italian family and recipes for gorgeous Italian food. I was salivating while reading the recipes. Having travelled through Italy, sampling food and wine wherever we went, I really enjoyed this book. It is light, sad in places and funny.
The heroine in this story goes by the name of Francesca (Frankie) Caputo. Frankie is the eldest daughter of Italian parents who immigrated to the United States. Her sister Bella (Isabella) is estranged from the family. Frankie’s parents, being Italian, of course means a rather large extended family; aunts, uncles and cousins. They at times seem interfering and just far too intrusive with family gatherings always being incredibly noisy, to the point where you can’t hear yourself think and lots of lovingly prepared food.Frankie meets the boy of her dreams – Alex Gardner. They plan to marry and live happily ever after, but a freak accident while surfing changes these plans and throws Frankie’s life into turmoil.
The story continues with Frankie sad, grieving and not coping with friends and family’s well intentioned “help”, and driving out to Alex’s favourite place to escape – an abandoned cabin owned by the Gardner family. Her neighbours are curious about her and slowly she starts to recover becoming part of the local community. She discovers things about herself that she wasn’t aware of before. Frankie becomes stronger, dealing with situations that before she found difficult.
I found myself hooked on this book to the point that I couldn’t put it down. Would I recommend this book? Well yes, because it’s a bit of escapism, with a nip or two of sadness saving itself from any danger of similarity to other stories, with wonderful colourful characters and of course, mouth-watering recipes.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling
Season of Salt and Honey
by Hannah Tunnicliffe
Published by Macmillan