The Wedding Officer

The Wedding Officer

3.69 (2,307 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Naive and already war-weary, James Gouding takes up a position in Naples in 1943. What he doesn't anticipate is that this involves a limited menu of fried Spam fritters and interrogating the would-be Italian fiancees of members of the armed forces. James's chance at true heroism arrives when a German tank is sighted and he is caught in its path. However, it is the imperious and dogmatic Livia who opens the hatch and yells at him to stop being such an idiot. Livia gladly becomes cook, translator and general factotum to James. The two begin to fall in love, but the eruption of Vesuvius triggers a chain of explosive events that will force the two to flee behind enemy lines and will alter their lives more

Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 154 x 236 x 34mm | 598.75g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0316730947
  • 9780316730945

Review quote

'Full of the same colour and verve as Capella's THE FOOD OF LOVE, this story also blends romance with gourmet delights' GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 'THE WEDDING OFFICER resembles a cross between CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN and CHOCOLAT, while remaining a charming and powerful fiction in its own right' Michael Arditti 'This is an engaging tale. It brims with fascinating historical detail, an infectious enthusiasm for southern Italy and its cuisine and is an undemanding and sympathetic love story' SUNDAY TIMES 'Spicy, funny, delicious and sexy, this is the perfect holiday book' EVENING HERALD 'This Neapolitan romance rumbles with erotic expectation . . . A deftly composed slice of gastro-escapism' INDEPENDENT 'This is one of those unashamedly feel-good stories that begs to be read in the sun...' THE TIMES 'Capella's lightness of touch...conjures comedy set-ups with the delightful anticipation and resolution of any Marx Brothers classic.' SUNDAY EXPRESS 'Idiosyncratic tale well told.' DAILY IRELAND 'Lust and luscious food in wartime Naples . . . I was gripped' Kate Harrison, Red magazineshow more

About Anthony Capella

Anthony Capella spends part of each year travelling in Italy. He is based in London and this is his second more

Review Text

Capella (The Food of Love, 2004) again mingles amore with alimenti in this tale of a British officer who develops an appetite for all things Italian.In February 1944, Captain James Gould is sent to Naples to enforce an army policy discouraging British soldiers from marrying Italian natives. The inexperienced officer is quickly put on the offensive when confronted with bribes and brides. James clamps down on the black market and takes a hard line when dealing with locals. They devise a ploy to soften his governance by attacking his taste buds: "A man who has eaten well - he's at peace with the world he wants other people to be happy." So the black marketers place beautiful and talented cook Livia Pertini in James's kitchen. He tries to resist (it's career suicide, after all), but soon the young officer is under her spell. James reverses his stance and starts approving batches of marriage applications; he even aids the locals as they attempt to reopen businesses. Livia is standoffish at first - she's a recent widow, and the Allies treated her family vilely - but eventually she succumbs to James's clumsy seductions. Capella does a capable job capturing the essence of war-torn Italy, but his prose becomes transcendent when he pours his heart into telling the story of Italian food. Readers will appreciate the recipes for sugo (a basic tomato sauce) and other classic Italian dishes; even the most fastidious dieter may consider a pasta binge. Disappointingly, the love story isn't as appetizing as Livia's fettuccine al limone. An overwrought romance spoils a lovely feast for the senses. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

2,307 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 21% (489)
4 39% (899)
3 30% (687)
2 8% (182)
1 2% (50)
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