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Dear Olivia: An Italian Journey of Love and Courage: An Italian Journey of Love and Loss Paperback – 5 Jul 2007


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Frequently Bought Together

Dear Olivia: An Italian Journey of Love and Courage: An Italian Journey of Love and Loss + Dear Francesca: An Italian Journey of Recipes Recounted with Love + Valvona & Crolla: A Year at an Italian Table
Price For All Three: £42.98

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (5 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841959820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841959825
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 380,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"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"

From the Back Cover

A tale of courage in the face of adversity . . . a story of love and hope.

In this fascinating follow-up to Dear Francesca, Mary Contini writes to her daughter Olivia to tell the story of her greatgrandparents, 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, this is a mouth-watering memoir of family and food.

'Touching and inspiring . . . But 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

'Essentially the story of one man's journey, but also a story of one community, two nations, and how they grew and flourished together.'

Scotsman

'Uplifts and inspires . . . Contini has augmented the family legends with historical research and imagination.'

Sunday Times

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Speirs on 5 Feb. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I could not put this book down. It is very well written. The historical content of Italian immigrants to Scotland is very interesting plus very moving. The "poetic license" that adds a story to fact makes for a real love story/family saga. Mary Contini's description of Italian food and style of cooking made me demand to taken out to a true Italian restaurant. The description of the food will have your mouth watering! Even the open chapter which involves the slaughtering of a pig will have you longing for real Italian sausage! I highly recommend this book - it is a good rip a long read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Liz MacInally on 12 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very moving book, chronicling the events in the lives of a small family group of Italians who came to Scotland from one village in Italy as economic migrants, founded a now famous and highly successful Italian Deli and restaurant in Edinburgh. The scope of the book is greater than that, however, as it covers the growth of the Italian Scot community from the early twentieth century through the difficulties of two world wars, and the terrible loss of many of the male members of the community whose ship sank as they were being taken away for internment. It is written well, in Mary Contini's very easy-going conversational style, and reading it is a great pleasure. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MARIO PAESANO on 7 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
A FIRST CLASS BOOK.ONCE STARTED YOU WON'T WANT TO STOP TILL IT'S FINISHED AND THEN NYOU ARE SORRY THAT IT IS.MOST ENJOYABLE.HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. A GREAT BUY,AND A FIRST CLASS SERVICE FROM AMAZON,MANY THANKS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rita boulton on 28 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is a great story based on actual facts.Having Italian ancestors from this region has given me in an insight into their life in Italy before they migrated to the UK. I think anyone who has migrated to a different country could identify with the enormity of leaving there homeland and family. Unable to speak the language or read and write and having to adapt to a different culture and environment took a lot of courage. Into this mix were two world wars to contend with.A tale of ordinary people who's love for their family, friends,and faith got them through their adversities. Superb.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ally Bally G on 8 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm slightly biased with the review for this book....as part of what was written could be the story of my family. My grandfather emigrated to Scotland from Italy in the 1910's and it is natural that the story struck a cord deep down. The journey begins in 1913 when one of the Crolla's - Alfonso decides to emigrate to Edinburgh with his young wife and finishes after the Second World War. It recounts of the difficulties they encountered both in peace time and duting the war, of how they conquered them to make a better life for themselves and of the beginnings of the famous delicatessen Valvona and Crolla in Edinburgh.
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By LesleyAllan on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I have never felt compelled to write a review before, that is how much I am enjoying this book. It is making me want to visit Italy, learn Italian and eat true Italian food. My Mum worked in Valvona and Crolla as a secretary when I was a little girl, so I knew some of the people described in this book. I knew them as old men and women- here I am reading about their birth! I havent been to the shop for many years, and I wish I had payed more attention when I was there as a child. Next time I am in Edniburgh I will be there! A lovely book and a fascinating story, I would highly recommend this book.
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