Some books just take you by surprise. When I picked up the copy of Margherita's Recipes For Love that I had received in the post, I intended just to have a quick look at the blurb, and maybe the first chapter. I ended up reading the first half of the book in one sitting. Cheerful, romantic and loveably over the top, this is a love story set in rural Italy, Margherita is a spirited and principled woman whose marriage has come to an abrupt end. Returning home to the country, she puts her greatest talent--cooking--to good use and soon finds herself working for a wealthy businessman who has just swept into town. Nicola is ruthless in all things related to his business, but through her cooking--and her spirit--Margherita may be the one to teach him a thing or two about good business and perhaps even love ...
There is a lot of warmth to this story, and it is an excellent choice for lovers of great cuisine and light reading. Parts of it are a bit over-the-top, but not in an offensive way. (Oh come on, how could I not laugh when a squid lands on Nicola's shoulder? It's hilarious start to a relationship that that is definitely hate at first sight.) Some of the conflict resolved a bit too easily, and I did wonder at times if something had been left out of the translation. (On the translation, the writing did feel a bit clunky in places.) Overall though, this story was a lot of fun, and provided me with a nice, easy read at a time when that was exactly what I wanted (and needed.)
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my reading copy.