Keeping the Feast – Paula Butturini

Title: Keeping the Feast: One Couple’s Story of Love, Food, and Healing in Italy
Author: Paula Butturini
ISBN: 9781594488979
Pages: 272
Release Date: February 18, 2010
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Paula and John were a couple very much in love, but just a month after their wedding, the unthinkable happened.  John, who at the time was the Bureau Chief for the New York Times in Warsaw, Poland, was shot in Romania.  The book chronicles John’s struggle with depression after the shooting, and the couple’s attempts to heal through love, and most of all, though food.

Review:

I love “foodie” memoirs.  I love vivid descriptions of food in books, the kind that make your mouth water and make you want to go to the kitchen and whip up something delicious (preferably, whatever it is that’s being described in the book!)  Funnily enough, though, it’s not sweets that really get me.  While I enjoy dessert, my true love is pastas and breads.  I could eat pasta every night of the week (and warm up the leftovers for lunch), so I love reading books that involve Italian food.  Keeping the Feast seemed like the perfect book for me, as the author and her husband go to Italy and use the food to try and heal their emotional wounds.

And oh, what descriptions they are!  From Butturini’s discussion of the local markets she visits in Rome to her descriptions of pasta, polenta, and more, this book made me woozy with hunger.  I craved pasta after reading this book; her descriptions are warm and inviting, with just the right amount of detail to really whet the reader’s appetite.

The parts of the book that deal with John’s depression were a little more difficult for me.  I imagine if you’ve grappled with serious, unshakeable depression or you have lived with someone who has, you will really identify with these parts of the memoir.  The author shows amazing strength and courage during these parts of Keeping the Feast – I wouldn’t have blamed her for giving up.  But she never did, and was an unwavering support for her husband through his troubled times.  Though these parts weren’t as intriguing for me, they were still well-written and tugged on my emotions.

Keeping the Feast was an interesting memoir that I’m glad I read.  Butturini’s clean prose makes this book easy to read and enjoyable.  I recommend this book if you’re enamored of Italian food and have some sort of interest in or personal experience with depression.

Comments

  1. I’m picky when it comes to memoirs, but you’ve sold me on this one. Oh, and you made this pasta lover really hungry, too!

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. I’m picky when it comes to memoirs, but you’ve sold me on this one. Oh, and you made this pasta lover really hungry, too!

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  3. I received a copy of this book for review. Normally, I don’t do memoirs but I couldn’t say no to this one!

  4. I received a copy of this book for review. Normally, I don’t do memoirs but I couldn’t say no to this one!

  5. I love memoirs and think this one sounds great – food and Italy – hard to go wrong!

  6. I love memoirs and think this one sounds great – food and Italy – hard to go wrong!

  7. I usually steer clear of memoirs, for some reason they always leave me feeling flat. But this one sounds quite interesting. Thanks for the great review, I just might have to give this one a try.

  8. I usually steer clear of memoirs, for some reason they always leave me feeling flat. But this one sounds quite interesting. Thanks for the great review, I just might have to give this one a try.

  9. Glad you liked it, too! I t hought the food descriptions were especially beautiful. I wanted recipes, though!

  10. Glad you liked it, too! I t hought the food descriptions were especially beautiful. I wanted recipes, though!

  11. Inspirational memoirs rarely inspire me (I don’t know what’s wrong with me), but the descriptions of the food sound fabulous. I’ll keep this one in mind.

  12. Inspirational memoirs rarely inspire me (I don’t know what’s wrong with me), but the descriptions of the food sound fabulous. I’ll keep this one in mind.

  13. I’ve been on a memoir kick lately, plus Italian food? Enamoured wouldn’t even cover it. I feel I could heal souls with Italian food, including my own. Homemade oven-roasted tomato sauce, homemade pasta and homemade ricotta could bring world peace.

  14. I’ve been on a memoir kick lately, plus Italian food? Enamoured wouldn’t even cover it. I feel I could heal souls with Italian food, including my own. Homemade oven-roasted tomato sauce, homemade pasta and homemade ricotta could bring world peace.

  15. This book did make me want to go to Italy to try their food, but overall, I don’t think I enjoyed the book as much as others did.

  16. This book did make me want to go to Italy to try their food, but overall, I don’t think I enjoyed the book as much as others did.

  17. Oh I will definitely read a foodie memoir!

  18. Oh I will definitely read a foodie memoir!

  19. Thanks for sharing your review! I definitely agree with the pasta cravings and dreams of jetting to the Italian countryside.

    I enjoyed this memoir, though found it quite difficult to read at times, especially in the dealing with depression. Paula is so realistic and an admirable person who goes through such a rough time. I’ve found myself reflecting on her story often, though I read the book a month ago.

  20. Thanks for sharing your review! I definitely agree with the pasta cravings and dreams of jetting to the Italian countryside.

    I enjoyed this memoir, though found it quite difficult to read at times, especially in the dealing with depression. Paula is so realistic and an admirable person who goes through such a rough time. I’ve found myself reflecting on her story often, though I read the book a month ago.

  21. I liked the sounds of this one so much that I sent a Ping about the review out on all my social media sites. I hope it brings you some additional traffic! Keep up the great work! I don’t know how you read so bloody fast!

  22. I liked the sounds of this one so much that I sent a Ping about the review out on all my social media sites. I hope it brings you some additional traffic! Keep up the great work! I don’t know how you read so bloody fast!

  23. i just started reading this. Haven’t got to the depression but the food is amazing.

  24. i just started reading this. Haven’t got to the depression but the food is amazing.

  25. The best part of Italy is the food! Thanks for the review, I’ll be checking this one out.

  26. The best part of Italy is the food! Thanks for the review, I’ll be checking this one out.

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