from scratch book summary

From Scratch By Tembi Locke: Short Book Summary and Review

Experience an incredible journey of love and resilience in the face of loss in Tembi Locke’s captivating memoir, From Scratch. This heartfelt story takes readers through the beautiful landscapes of Italy and explores the emotional highs and lows of family, love, and identity.

Book Background:

Acclaimed actress and advocate Tembi Locke has transformed her personal experiences into an emotional and engaging literary work with From Scratch. This memoir has received widespread praise and became a Reese’s Book Club pick and a New York Times Best Seller.


From Scratch follows the life of Tembi Locke, a Black woman from Texas who falls in love with Saro, a Sicilian chef from a traditional Italian family.

Despite cultural differences and familial resistance, their love blossoms, and they build a life together in the United States.

However, their happiness is met with the devastating news that Saro has cancer. As they navigate this heartbreaking challenge, Tembi and Saro find solace in returning to Saro’s hometown in Sicily, where they experience healing and togetherness through the power of love and food.

Tembi’s resilience and deepened connection to Saro’s family emerge from the ashes of grief, illustrating the transformative power of love.

Key Themes:

  • Love and Loss: The book portrays the unwavering bond between Tembi and Saro and the heartbreaking yet transformative experience of losing a loved one.
  • Identity and Culture: Tembi’s journey takes her from her African American roots in Texas to Saro’s traditional Italian family in Sicily, exploring the complexities of cultural identity and interpersonal connections across distinct worlds.
  • Resilience and Healing: The memoir showcases the remarkable strength and determination of human spirit, demonstrated through Tembi’s growth following her loss.


From Scratch centers around Tembi and her late husband, Saro, alongside Saro’s Sicilian family. The narrative intricately weaves together their backgrounds, aspirations, and emotional connections, creating an unforgettable tale. As each character faces the complexities of love, grief, and cultural tensions, their relationships and individual transformations highlight the story’s core themes.

Writing Style:

Tembi Locke’s writing is poignant and heartfelt, drawing readers into her intimate world with vivid descriptions of the Sicilian culture and cuisine. Employing lyricism and emotional depth, she masterfully balances moments of joy and tragedy, immersing readers in her compelling narrative.

Reader Appeal:

From Scratch is an uplifting and moving read for individuals interested in memoirs, love stories, cultural explorations, and emotional journeys. It speaks to readers of all ages who have experienced love and loss and those with an appreciation for life’s complexities and the healing power of family, identity, and tradition.


In From Scratch, Tembi Locke shares her deeply personal narrative of love, loss, and resilience with raw honesty and genuine emotion. This unforgettable memoir is a testament to the human spirit and will leave readers inspired, moved, and eager to explore the beautiful and intricate world she has so tenderly painted.


This book is an exquisite and captivating tale that beautifully intertwines love, loss, culture, and the healing power of tradition.

Tembi Locke’s memoir evokes numerous complex emotions, transporting readers into the lush landscapes of Sicily while imparting the transformative power of family, love, and resilience.

As a reader, I was deeply moved and inspired by her journey of love and compassion and how she found solace after facing such a tremendous loss.

The author’s ability to navigate the intricacies of an interracial and intercultural relationship while vividly depicting her experiences is truly mesmerizing.

Tembi Locke addresses multiple themes, including grief, cultural differences, and the challenge of blending two distinct worlds that are connected by love.

Her writing style is rich in detail and genuine in emotion, allowing the reader to immerse themselves in the narrative fully.

The culinary aspect of this book is equally enchanting. Tembi beautifully narrates the Sicilian cuisine’s transformative impact on her life, mirroring her emotional journey.

She shares treasured recipes that hold dear memories and showcases the undeniable importance of food as a link between cultures, love, and memories. It’s hard not to feel a sense of belonging and warmth as she talks about the bonds formed around the dinner table in Sicily.

From Scratch is a memoir that will resonate with those who have faced love and loss and individuals open to embracing new cultural experiences and understanding the power of connection.

It also appeals to food lovers who appreciate family recipes’ deep-rooted traditions and culinary delights. Tembi’s resilience and strength testify to the human spirit’s capacity to overcome adversity and find healing in unexpected places.

In conclusion, I highly recommend From Scratch for its beautifully written prose, poignant storytelling, and vibrant portrayal of love, culture, and food. This touching and inspiring memoir is a journey not to be missed and a story that will stay with you long after the last page is turned. Tembi Locke has poured her heart and soul into this memoir, and it is a true must-read for anyone looking to explore love and human resilience’s intricate depths.

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