Dear Olivia: An Italian Journey of Love and Courage

Dear Olivia: An Italian Journey of Love and Courage


By (author) Mary Contini

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  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 26mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 5 July 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1841959820
  • ISBN 13: 9781841959825
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: Main
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, maps, ports.
  • Sales rank: 391,935

Product description

In this fascinating follow-up to the highly successful "Dear Francesca", Mary Contini writes to her other daughter, Olivia, to tell the story of her great-grandparents, the humble Italian shepherds who emigrated to Edinburgh and then helped to transform Britain's food culture. Sharing some of the recipes that they brought over - the tomatoes, the garlic, the sausage, the wine - this is a mouthwatering memoir of family and food. It is also a brilliant evocation of life between the wars, a triumphant story of survival against all the odds, that captures the sights and smells of Italian life and culture, at home and abroad.

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Author information

MARY CONTINI is based in Edinburgh and first generation Italian Scot is a director of the famous delicatessen and wine merchant, Valvona & Crolla. She has written extensively for The Scotsman, appeared on TV and Radio and has co-presented Scotland's Larder on STV. Her children's cookery Books, Easy Peasy, co-authored with Pru Irvine are now in their 8th year.

Review quote

"Uplifts and inspires... She has augmented the family legends with historical research and imagination to produce a tale of a hardy tribe bonded by faith, a powerful work ethic and a deep love of home-cured sausage." Sunday Times "... there is an added pleasure to reading Mary Contini, that comes from the importance of food in her life... The book bursts with flavour." Financial Times "A recipe for a rich and rewarding life... Dear Olivia is essentially the story of one man's journey, but is also a story of one community, two nations, and how they grew and flourished together." Scotsman "Mary Contini has given her ancestors words and tears and awkward relationships, fear and love and hope. She has done so with remarkable tenderness, skill and bravery." The List"