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The Wedding Officer [Hardcover]

Anthony Capella
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
Price: £11.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 April 2006
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 immeasurably.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group; 1st edition (6 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316730947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316730945
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,312,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


`An enjoyable caper' -- Mirror

`This gently erotic book is so precisely of our time. The construction is
simple but elegant and the writing sensitive' -- Sunday Express

'An irresistible combination of love, humour and delicious food’ -- Yours

‘Food, Italy and romance are Anthony Capella’s trademark topics. He combines all three deliciously in The Wedding Officer’ -- InStyle

‘This is one of those delicious, unashamedly feel-good stories that begs to be read in the sun' -- Times

‘This is one of those delicious, unashamedly feel-good stories that begs to be read in the sun’ -- The Times

Book Description

A sumptuous tale of food to heal the deepest wounds, of the hungers of war and the bittersweet nature of love. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 9 April 2007
I was completely engrossed in this book. The descriptions of mouthwatering food, scintillating sex and honest to goodness naivety were refreshing. The bravery, stubborness and humiliation of the characters were blended together as well as the pasta sauces described throughout. The factual information was enough to ensure that the picture I was left with was one of how awful those times were but equally how determined everyone was to ensure a better future for themselves. Pity I got to the end, I was happy to keep reading!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Right Ingredients for a Great Book 5 April 2007
I was recently searching the shelves of my local bookstore looking for a book with all my favourite ingredients - A mixture of World War 2, Italy and of course a generous helping of romance. The Wedding Officer was exactly what I was looking for.

Although I have never been to Naples I was married in Tuscany 3 years ago and have had a love affair with Italy ever since. The vivid description of its people, landscape and amazing food in the book brought back all the memories I have of the place and I felt almost home sick, desperate to go back!

I also fell in love with the story between James and Livia and really felt the connection between them. I only wish I could speak Italian the way that James can!

As a big fan of war stories I was really intrigued by the description of wartime Naples and the people's experiences. I also enjoyed the closeness to history which was obviously researched so carefully.

I only hope that the film planned for next year will do the book justice and that they carefully choose the Italian Livia and English James of the big screen.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Capella just got better 21 April 2006
Anthony Capella burst on the summer book market last year with his retelling of the Cyrano de Bergerac story, 'The Food of Love'. Now, in a delightful tale that mixes fact and fiction, Capella has moved the setting from modern-day Rome to Naples in the latter years of the Second World War. Understandably the story is darker than the first novel, but the narrative still brilliantly conveys the warmth and passion of Italy, the beauty of the countryside around Vesuvius, and of course the joy of Italian food, both in feast and famine. The author has also researched his subject. The big adventure that took away the romantic young men of Mussolini's Italy turns into the nightmare of war, and starvation and humiliation for the women of Naples. With even-handed portrayals of Allied and German troops and penetrating observations of what people will do simply to survive, Capella mines his subject skillfully. But in the end this is a fine love story from a very fine storyteller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely romance with a bit of tasty food too! 27 Mar 2007
In parts, this is a lovely light read; the story of the lovers who get together despite themselves is one told again and again. It is the setting: Naples just after it has been liberated from the Nazis and the circumstances that set this novel apart. The main characters are beautifully drawn and you get a real sense of place and time from many of the details in the book. The food is of course lovingly described and there is enough comedy to make you laugh and smile. Many of the secondary characters are quite cartoonish and one dimensional: the evil mafioso who uses his position to blackmail our heroine, the barman who knows everything that is going on, the prostitute with the heart of gold. But this doesnt take away from the story at all.

The book has a dark edge to it too. How could any book set during war not have? While the author doesnt dwell on the war, it is ever present, as are the injustices and atrocites comitied during times of war by both sides. Apparently many of the scenarios used by the author come from real memoirs and diaries of soliders stationed in Naples in the mid fourties and this certainly addds to the credibility of some of the more hare-brained schemes for defeating the enemy that crop up!

If you like romance, food or Italy this this is definetly a book you will enjoy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
When i first strated reading the wedding officer, i thought i really wouldn't get into it, and if i did the storyline would be just as predictable as most books of this nature. However, i was very very wrong.

The book holds your imagination and what happens in it is never at all expected until it happens when you think back and realise all the clues were there building up to it. Not only that, but it gives you more of an insight as to the conditions people had to live in during the second world war in italy.

I strongly suggest you should try reading this book no matter what reading material you normally read, as it is a book i think that will appeal to anybody as it covers such a wide range of genres.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Cappuccino! 15 Jan 2008
This novel is a must for lovers of Italy! A frothy Cappuccino, with several shots of strong Espresso; a wonderful blend of love, war, food and the strength of the human spirit. A young British officer, James Gould arrives in Naples in 1943 with the job of vetting all applications for marriage between local girls and British personnel. The majority of the matches are totally unsuitable and the very 'upright' James intends to do everything by the rule book. But .... this is Italy, and Italy has a way of changing people's perspectives; rules are made to be broken, and what happens when the Wedding Officer himself falls in love! This is all set against the background of occupation, with the Germans now occupying the North, whilst the British and Americans push from the South. We're given a strong flavour of the fighting during the 1944 Anzio Campaign, and an insight into the role played by the Italian Partisans. As if that wasn't enough, we have the dreadful fury of nature - the 1944 eruption of Vesuvius. The British and American soldiers carried out a relief operation that no doubt lessened the human devastation resulting from the eruption. The reader goes on a very personal journey with James, and is rewarded by a very satisfactory finale!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for holidays, or snuggle up beside the fire in winter
excellent book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. So descriptive about Italy during the war.
I would love it if Anthony Capella would write a sequel to it, or something similar.
Published 8 days ago by Eveline Forde
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud!
Brilliantly written, this is a wonderful read and a lovely story. Anthony Capella writes with great humour and for those who enjoy food (as clearly the author does) it is a joy. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Seklof
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, uplifting and funny - love it
A romantic story set in Naples with beautiful descriptions of Italian cuisine running throughout that will have you salivating at every chapter. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars A favourite
I don't often read a book more than once but I've read this three times! I love the way the story unfolds; it's romantic, exciting and sad. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Casimira
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written.
Anthony Capella takes you to another country, another time, with beautifully written descriptions. I bought this book after reading Food for Love, set in Italy, and found the same... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Elizabethd
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric
Very enjoyable read - encouraged me to seek out his other books. He really captures the atmosphere of the conditions the characters lived under.
Published 16 months ago by Hitech
4.0 out of 5 stars Food and love in a time of war
This is a romance set in Italy during the second world war. I loved the sensuous descriptions of food - you could smell and taste the rich aromas and flavours - which reminded me... Read more
Published 17 months ago by joyfrankie
4.0 out of 5 stars A taste of Naples in 1944
I think that this is an easy to read, simple story. There is not as much sex in this book as his others which is a bit of a relief. Read more
Published 19 months ago by lesley
3.0 out of 5 stars Capello Grows
Not initially inspired, I persevered and learned a great deal from the book. The wishy-washy character of James grew from being naive and accepting to becoming enlightened and... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Omasue
5.0 out of 5 stars The wedding officer
So easy reading about a period of the WW2 in Italy.One can envisage the traumas and demands on a misplaced officer
that all results in a very romantic finish. Read more
Published on 24 Jun 2012 by David Cm Reeves
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