Katherine is fresh out of college when she arrives in Naples to intern at the US Consulate. There she meets handsome, studious Salvatore, and finds herself enveloped by his family - in particular by his elegant accomplished mother, Raffaella. And it is here that Katherine's real education begins.
Immersed in Neaopolitan culture, tradition and cooking, slowly and unexpectedly falling for Salvatore, and basking in Raffaella's company and guidance, Katherine discovers how to prepare meals that sing, from rich ragu to pasta al forno with bacon, bechamel and four kinds of cheese. Through courtship, culture clashes, Sunday Mass, marriage and motherhood, Katherine slowly comes to appreciate carnale, the quintessentially Neapolitan sense of comfort and confidence in one's own skin.
Steeped in sunlight, wine and unforgettable food, Only In Naples is a love letter to a city and a family, a coming-of-age story, and a transporting account of learning to live the Italian way.
Only In Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia from my Italian Mother-in-Law by Katherine Wilson is published by Fleet, the new literary imprint from Little Brown UK on 12 May 2016.
I've always loved a 'foodie' book, whether fiction or real life, I love food almost as much as I love books, so the combination of words and food is a winner for me.
Katherine Wilson comes from a very wealthy American family, their name is well-known throughout the world in relation to the sports accessories that they make. Despite her privileged upbringing, as a nineteen-year-old spending a year out in Italy, she was full of self-doubt and insecurities, made worse by an eating disorder that she could trace back to childhood.
Most people thought she was crazy to choose to spend a year in Naples, but Katherine was determined, and it wasn't long before she caught the eye of handsome Salvatore, and was welcomed into his family, and introduced to good old-fashioned Italian cooking.
Italy was something of a culture shock for Katherine, she didn't really understand the Italian way of dating, but she really did appreciate the food. In turn, Raffaella, Salvatore's beautiful and elegant Mother appreciated having someone to pass her knowledge to.
Katherine Wilson writes honestly and with humour. At the beginning of the book she's a difficult person to understand, quite awkward and not sure of herself, but as she falls in love with Salvatore, his family and with Italy, she changes and her innermost character is exposed.
Only In Naples is Katherine's Italian life story. The reader accompanies her as she discovers cooking, shopping and Church. She works in different jobs, she struggles at times, but her love for her new home and the feeling of acceptance makes it easier for her,
Katherine Wilson still lives a privileged and wealthy life but it's a very different life to her childhood, her passion for her adopted homeland shines through in her writing. The descriptions of the food, the culture and the people are wonderfully done. This book could make you pile on the pounds, especially if you try out the recipes included!
My thanks to Ursula from Fleet who sent my copy for review.
Katherine Wilson was raised in Washington DC, and educated at the Sidwell Friends School and Princeton University.
For the past nineteen years she has worked in theatre, television, and film as well as freelance translating in Italy.
She lives in Rome with her husband and two children.
Find out more about Katherine Wilson at www.katherinewilsonwriter.com
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @kwilsonwriter