Read The Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary Seduction by Anthony Capella Online

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Captain James Gould arrives in wartime Naples assigned to discourage marriages between British soldiers and their gorgeous Italian girlfriends. But the innocent young officer is soon distracted by an intoxicating young widow who knows her way around a kitchen...Livia Pertini is creating feasts that stun the senses with their succulence—ruby-colored San Marzana tomatoes, glCaptain James Gould arrives in wartime Naples assigned to discourage marriages between British soldiers and their gorgeous Italian girlfriends. But the innocent young officer is soon distracted by an intoxicating young widow who knows her way around a kitchen...Livia Pertini is creating feasts that stun the senses with their succulence—ruby-colored San Marzana tomatoes, glistening anchovies, and delectable new potatoes encrusted with the black volcanic earth of of Campania—and James is about to learn that his heart may rank higher than his orders. For romance can be born of the sweet and spicy passions of food and love—and time spent in the kitchen can be as joyful and exciting as the banquet of life itself!...

Title : The Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary Seduction
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553805475
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary Seduction Reviews

  • Connie (Ava Catherine)
    2019-03-08 16:07

    In 1944 the British occupies Naples, Italy; however, the generals in London are not concerned with a counterattack by Mussolini's fascists or the German Nazis since the enemy is reeling from the Allied armies' thrusts. The most prominent concern is the fraternization between British officers and young Italian girls, whose men are off fighting in the war or are dead. Captain James Gould is sent to prevent weddings between the soldiers and the local girls. He is dubbed The Wedding Officer by the locals. At first James is quite sincere in his quest to do his job well, but things go awry when Livy Pertini, an excellent cook and war widow, comes to cook for him. Her dishes are unlike anything he has ever tasted, and she is unlike anyone he has ever met. Struggling to control his desires, James realizes what a hypocrisy it is for the Wedding Officer to fall in love with a local Italian woman. But sometimes love is inevitable. The rest of the book is about the way they resolve the paradox of the Wedding Officer being smitten by an Italian woman, the impact of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 1944, and the effect of the war on their romance.I love the way the author weaves history, culture, and romance together. It makes the book breathe. Sometimes I wanted to cry for the characters, and sometimes I wanted to laugh with them. It is a marvelous story and so well-written. If you like food, history, and romance, you will certainly like this book.

  • Helvry Sinaga
    2019-03-12 15:02

    Sembari membaca novel ini (sekitar Juni 2009), saya berkenalan dengan seorang tentara yang sudah berdinas lama di kesatuan TNI. Niatnya yang memang benar-benar kepingin masuk tentara, dibuktikannya dengan mengikuti seleksi masuk menjadi tentara sampai enam kali! Baginya, menjadi tentara adalah keinginan terbesarnya dari kecil. Ia sangat mensyukurinya, dari tamtama hingga perwira, ia sangat menikmati profesi sebagai tentara.Ketika profesi menjadi sesuatu yang menyenangkan, tentu tidak sulit menjalaninya. Hari-hari terasa lebih memenuhi hobi dibandingkan memenuhi panggilan tugas. Kapten James Gould, seorang perwira Inggris, ditugasi sebagai Pejabat Pernikahan di Naples, Itali. Ia menggantikan Jackson, pejabat sebelumnya, yang dipindahkan ke tempat lain. sebenarnya, kemampuan akan bahasalah yang membuat ia diterima di Field Security Service, yaitu korps intelijen pasukan sekutu yang sedang bertugas di Italia. Kemudian ia mendalami bahasa Italia, dan akhirnya ia ditempatkan disana. Sebagai perwira intelijen, ia membuat laporan-laporan atas informasi yang diterimanya. Atasannya, Mayor Heathcote sangat mengandalkannya. Karena kemampuan bahasa Italianya sangat bagus dibanding lainnya, ia ditugasi sebagai pejabat pernikahan (Wedding Officer).Tugasnya sebagai pejabat pernikahan di Napoli adalah memastikan perempuan yang akan menikah dengan tentara Inggris adalah bukan perempuan Italia. Dalam kesulitan, kebanyakan wanita di Napoli hanya bisa menemukan satu cara untuk membuat hidup: dengan menjual tubuh mereka. Perintah komandannya jelas: Tidak boleh tentara menikahi pelacur! Tidak boleh berarti tidak ada kompromi. Hitam atau putih, ya atau tidak. Namun Gould menemukan bahwa kebenaran, keadilan, tidak serta merta karena perintah komandan, adakalanya di daerah abu-abu.Pertemuannya dengan Livia, seorang perempuan Napoli yang pintar memasak masakan Italia. Dalam novel ini ada berbagai macam masakan Italia. Sebenarnya, sisi Wedding Officer-nya sama proporsinya dengan masakan Italia yang bahkan sangat-sangat detil dibuat oleh Livia untuk James Gould dan kawan-kawan.Novel ini cukup bagus karena dengan detil menceritakan kondisi perang dunia II di Napoli beserta dengan kondisi-kondisi sosialnya. Kehidupan yang memprihatinkan, dimana orang-orang berjuang untuk hidup. Korupsi dan penjualan penisilin gelap memperkaya orang-orang tertentu. Sementara yang tidak mampu, tinggal menunggu kematian. Namun, akhir cerita ini yang menurut saya membuat 'rusak' suasana cerita yang sudah dibangun bagus dari awal. Secara umum, masih layak baca, cuma penerbit sebaiknya memberi peringatan "awas buku dewasa."Anthony Capella menuliskan novel ini berdasarkan pekerjaan yang dilakukannya bersama Jamie Oliver, seorang chef muda berkebangsaan Inggris. Jamie memperkenalkan pada Anthony berbagai masakan Italia, terutama masakan Naples/Napoli, sebuah wilayah yang berada di Italia Selatan. Keseluruhan ide jalan cerita ini adalah sepasang buku yang ditemukan oleh Anthony ketika datang ke Napoli. Buku pertama adalah Naples '44ditulis oleh Penulis traveling berkebangsaan Inggris, Norman Lewis. Pada masa itu (1944), Sekutu menduduki Italia, ia ditugaskan sebagai pejabat investigasi muda. Ia bertugas selama tiga tahun (1942-1945) di Afrika Utara dan Italia. Buku Harian Norman tersebut menceritakan akibat perang yang diderita oleh rakyat Naples. Dimana-mana terjadi kesusahan hidup, kemelaratan, berbagai cara digunakan untuk tetap bertahan hidup. Prostitusi dimana-mana. Dari dekat ia menyaksikan bahwa karakter perang yang dielu-elukan oleh Sekutu ternyata tidaklah heroik dan humanis. Saya malah lebih tertarik untuk membaca buku setebal 192 halaman ini. Norman Lewis juga pernah mengunjungi Indonesia, dan menulis pengalaman perjalanannya pada buku An Empire of the East: Travels in Indonesia. Napoli adalah kota yang indah, Gunung Vesuvius yang menawan menambah keindahan kota itu, lihat pada gambar berikut.[image error][image error]Bayangkan ketika Gunung Vesuvius yang meletus pada 1944, terlihat pada gambar berikut. Suasananya mencekam.Sedangkan buku kedua ialah Sophia Loren: Living and Loving and Sophia Loren's Recipes and Memories. Sophia Loren berusia tujuh tahun ketika pecah perang dunia II tersebut, dan ia pernah tinggal bersama neneknya di Pozzuoli, Napoli. Menghadapi masa-masa sulit perang, Ketika pasukan sekutu menduduki Napoli, neneknya membuka tempat hiburan di ruang rumah mereka. Tempat mereka menjadi ramai oleh kedatangan pasukan dari Amerika. Loren bertugas mencuci piring, sementara saudaranya menyanyi dan bermain piano. Dalam buku ini Loren juga menuliskan bagaimana masa kecilnya sebagai Neapolitan dan karirnya dalam dunia film. Novel-novel karya Anthony Capella lainnya hampir semua ada unsur sejarahnya. Karyanya yang terakhir The Empress of Ice Cream, berlatar belakang abad 17 di Inggris dan Prancis. Novel The Various Flavours of Coffee, berlatar belakang Afrika pada awal abad 20. Lulusan Oxford University bidang studi English Literature ini, selain suka traveling, ia suka kuliner, karena itu tak heran setiap novelnya selalu berhubungan dengan makanan.Memang, tempat-tempat menarik, sebaiknya diceritakan dengan lengkap. Kotanya, orangnya, makanannya, dan tentu saja foto-fotonya. Cuma, mau tak mau saya jadi penasaran dengan bukunya Norman Lewis tentang Indonesia. @hws24052011

  • Caz
    2019-03-04 14:52

    I've given this an A- for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGalsAnthony Capella’s The Wedding Officer is an enjoyable and engrossing tale set in wartime Italy, which is told through the eyes of a fish-out-of-water young British officer and the fiery Italian widow with whom he falls in love.Naples in 1944 is now occupied by the allies, and things aren’t all that much better than they were under the Germans. Food is scarce and people are struggling to survive; there’s a thriving black market on which one can obtain just about anything, and most of the women in the town are forced to prostitute themselves in order to keep body and soul together.This last thing is regarded by the army as the biggest problem of all; venereal disease is rife and supplies of valuable penicillin are frequently stolen (and then resurface on the black market and have to be re-purchased!) but there are also increasing numbers of British soldiers applying for permission to marry Italian women, most of whom the army big-wigs label as prostitutes and therefore regard as not the sort of women they want accompanying their husbands back to England after the war. Captain James Gould is sent to Naples and given the job of interviewing the would-be brides and is horrified at the lax attitude of his predecessor, who seems only too happy to dine out at restaurants supplied by the black market and to turn a blind eye to many of the less than legal activities going on around him.You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals

  • Joel Gilbert
    2019-03-10 16:08

    My most recommended book for 2008. Fans of many genres will enjoy this example of great story-telling and rich characters. So, when you someone asks "What is this book about?" - I respond "Well, what is not about!?" (Okay, so I won't regurgitate the synopsis in which much more experience reviewers have taken such great care).This book has almost everything. Passion, food, characters, passion for food, passion for others! Reading this book took me back to Napoli (I had the pleasure of visiting two years ago) at another time.I have always been a "war-buff" - but the history, while accurate for period fiction, is only a backdrop for an amazing tale.The connection of Italian cooking (with wartime rationing and a country flavor) to human relationships (emotional and yes, physical - try to eat escargot ever again with out laughing out loud!) is astounding.This is a great one for couples to shareThe middle of book did slowdown slightly for me, and the ending seemed a bit hurried, but this book still earned a place on my ATF shelf (All-Time Favorites).

  • Eleanor
    2019-03-08 15:18

    The premise gave way to the feeling that this would be a good read, but the actuality fell short. The majority of the book was interesting a bit long winded in places but enjoyable is a light not much thought way. But the last quarter of the book let it down. It felt as though well what else can be chuck at the plot, the author had at his fingertips lots of factual information for this period of Italian history well lets use it even if it doesn't do much to enhance the story, because it didn't the whole plot began to fall apart and lost any credability that was there.

  • Rachel Ramirez
    2019-03-16 17:49

    After reading a summary like the one above how could a person not be tempted to read this book. Even the cover intrigued me. Until this book I had never read a book by Anthony Capella, and was astounded by the way he describes in mouthwatering detail, the preparation, cooking and eating of traditional Italian food, as he lays out the plot of the story. There aren't many books written in Italy during World War II that isn't based on the Holocaust. This book is deceiving as it looks like a book made for foodies, and it is, but it is also incredibly informative. I had no idea that Mount Vesuvius erupted towards the end of the 2nd World War or how close the volcano is to Naples. I also learned a great deal about Italy during World War II that I never knew before.Mr. Capella builds the world of Italy, especially Florence and the small towns surrounding Mount Vesuvius, and the food that all these lucky residents get to eat. The descriptions were beautiful, and I haven't been this drawn into a world since George Orwell's 1984. Most of this book is slow-paced, which made it hard for me to pick up the book at times. Still it wasn't a deterrent for me to continue reading but I can see how why some other readers rated this book low. For me, the magnetism of the two main characters, James and Livia, drives the plot along as does the war and everything that happens to them as a result of it.It took a little while for me to get into this book, just as it took a little while for the main character, James Gould, to really get into the character of Italy. But my patience was rewarded and one day it just clicked, and I really got into it and all this great stuff happened and the plot really took off and after I really enjoyed reading it. Overall, the book is an enjoyable read, but the last few chapters went off at a bit of a tangent that I could have done without. They seemed a bit contrived compared to the rest of the book.Honestly, I might buy my own copy of this book for the descriptions alone, but it will be a long time before I consider rereading. I'd even consider buying the audiobook version if it ever comes out. With both negative and positive aspects to the story, it was incredibly difficult for me to figure out a rating for this book and it might be that way for most readers. Still if you’re in the mood for a lighthearted and entertaining read that doesn't strain the mind or challenge you very much, then this book serves the purpose well.

  • Kate
    2019-02-24 12:54

    Anthony Capella - The Wedding Officer (Sphere, London, 2007)This is the first of my summer reads, and what a summer read it is!The setting is the Bay of Naples, 1944. Naples has been occupied by the Allies, and the ongoing rationing makes it hard for the people to survive. Restaurants have been shut down, but operate officially, and one can get hold of almost anything on the black market. Most of the women of Naples are forced to prostitute themselves to soldiers in order to support themselves, and some fall in love with them.This is where one of the protagonists come in, Captain James Gould, the Wedding Officer of the title. It is James's job to interview women who want to marry Allied officers, to make sure they're not prostitutes. The weddings are discouraged by James's superiors, and he agrees with this way of thinking, also trying to shut down the black market and get rid of corruption within the military and Neapolitans.Meanwhile, in a small village on Vesuvius, Livia Pertini works in her father's restaurant. She has learnt to cook as she has learnt to speak and walk, and is known for her cooking even more than her beauty. She meets, falls in love with and marries an Italian officer, but when the war brings tragedy, she must support herself.Eventually, she is forced to take a job at the Allied base in Naples, cooking for the officers. With this comes love, friendship and immense changes.There are a few key factors to this novel: love, food, sex, and Italy, each playing off one another beautifully. The food is described in such a way that you will want to eat nothing but pasta as long as you are reading the novel. The sex manages to be not only sexy, but also poignant and funny, an irresistable combination. The Italian backdrop practically jumps off the page, and every part of Naples and the surrounding area feeds into the story, and provides brilliant plot points as well as settings.The love story is a twist on an old staple, that of an officer and a local.Twists to the story are well plotted, sometimes not completely surprising but the dramatic irony is half the fun of it.By far the best thing about this novel is the fun of reading it now that summer is rolling in. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a funny, sexy, sumptuous summer read.

  • Bunga Mawar
    2019-02-28 15:17

    Bukunya tebal, 568 halaman. Tidak heran kalau ceritanya boleh belok-belok. Dari judul dan sampul depannya sudah jelas ya, kalau ini buku roman. Dan memang iya. Maunya pasti romantis, karena setting-nya di Italia, masa Perang Dunia II pula.Yuk, lihat ceritanya. Ada gadis desa yang pintar masak yang tinggal di lereng Gunung Vesuvius. Namanya Livia. Ia bertemu dan menikah dengan prajurit muda bernama Enzo, yang kemudian mati dalam perang melawan Sekutu di Rusia. Italia pun diduduki Sekutu, pahit getir dialami keluarga Livia sebelum dia bertemu Kapten James Gould di Napoli.James punya tugas resmi untuk tidak merestui secara administratif pernikahan antara gadis-gadis Italia yang kebanyakan bukan "gadis baik-baik" dengan tentara Sekutu. Ini standar ganda Sekutu. Di satu sisi, para prajurit yang butuh pelampiasan nafsu bisa saja berhubungan dengan pelacur (walau secara hukum dianggap ilegal). Di sisi lain, para komandan tentara tidak mau kalau anak buah mereka terbebani dengan kekasih dengan latar belakang kotor yang meminta dinikahi dan nantinya ikut pulang ke kampung asal para suami.Bertugas dengan pandangan "lurus", James membuat sebal gadis-gadis Italia yang berharap bisa segera menjadi perempuan yang berstatus legal dan bersih. Bertemu Livia yang menjadi juru masak di kantornya mengobati sakit hati James akibat diputuskan oleh pacarnya di Inggris, sekaligus menimbulkan dilema dalam tugasnya. Dia dan Livia saling jatuh cinta tapi jabatan James tidak memungkinkan hubungan itu dibuka untuk konsumsi umum.Buku dengan latar perang yang terjadi berpuluh tahun silam ini, di tempat jauh pula memang memperkenalkan berbagai fakta yang belum saya ketahui sebelumnya. Misalnya adanya taktik Sekutu yang dipraktikkan di Perancis untuk memasok perempuan-perempuan yang tertular sifilis akibat pergaulan dengan sekian banyak serdadu ke wilayah yang masih diduduki Jerman dengan harapan menyebarkan penyakit itu kepada para tentara Hitler. Saya juga baru tahu masih ada jenis keju Italia selain mozarella yang "kelihatannya" begitu yummy. Juga bahwa pada tahun 1940 ada buku Inggris berjudul Married Love karangan Dr Marie Stopes yang berhasil terjual satu juta eksemplar. Capella menebalkan buku ini selain dengan adegan masak-memasak gaya Italia yang menerbitkan rasa lapar, juga dengan menempatkan banyak cabang dalam kisah cinta Livia dan James. Misalnya sikap santun James yang khas Inggris tadinya sempat dianggap Livia sebagai indikator bahwa James adalah seorang homoseksual. Ada juga selipan Eric Vincenzo, sejawat James dari Amerika Serikat yang mencoba menggoda Livia. Lalu kutipan sampai lima halaman (!) dari buku laris Married Love yang muncul dari kenangan James. Takhayul orang Italia yang kental dan kepercayaan pada relik suci yang melebihi kepercayaan pada ajaran agama. Bahkan doktrin anti-komunis Amerika sampai dibawa-bawa juga di sini. Walau sedikit, kelihatan bahwa Capella berharap ada keterangan bagi pembaca bahwa : "Hey, dalam roman ini juga ada teori konspirasinya, lho."Sayangnya teori konspirasi ini harus kalah dengan heroisme yang dipaksakan. Harusnya penceritaan letusan Vesuvius bisa menjadi kisah mengharukan di mana kepentingan orang banyak bisa mengalahkan cinta pribadi. Tindakan James selama evakuasi memang mengangkatnya jadi jagoan, tapi kehadiran sekonyong-konyong para prajurit Sekutu yang membantu pembangunan kembali osteria keluarga Livia karena berhutang budi pada James terasa berlebihan. Paling konyol buat saya adalah terlibatnya Livia dan James sebagai pasukan gerilyawan komunis melawan kaum fasis di pegunungan. Bagaimana Livia bisa bergabung dan bertahan di sana adalah tahapan keajaiban, tapi kedatangan James kemudian benar-benar jadi sebuah hal yang tidak kreatif. Sama tidak kreatifnya dengan akhir cerita, epilog yang begitu Hollywood Style.Sebagai roman, buku ini sebenarnya bisa mengakhiri misi tanpa teori konspirasi yang akhirnya tidak terpakai. Adegan antara Livia dan James menjadikan buku ini macam cerita Harlequin. Apalagi sepanjang buku, dua tokoh utama kok ya tidak ada cacatnya. Kalau Livia dan James bagai jagoan, pada peran antagonis macam Alberto Spenza yang (maaf) bangsatnya keterlaluan pembaca juga tidak bisa marah. Kenapa ya? Sambil bertanya-tanya sendiri, saya menyimpulkan bahwa ini karena Capella juga tidak membuat Livia dan James memarahinya. Eh, mereka marah ding, tapi sebatas itu saja. Mangkel tapi tidak bisa bertindak lebih jauh.Tapi membaca Ucapan Terima Kasih dari Capella di bagian belakang, maklum juga sih. Capella rupanya banyak punya bahan untuk menyusun kisah sang Pejabat Pernikahan ini. Dia berusaha memasukkan fakta kekejaman perang yang dilakukan tidak hanya secara fisik tapi juga politis, hal yang membuat buku ini terlalu berat tapi tidak emosional sebagai sebuah kisah cinta. Keheranan saya muncul pada penerbit, GPU. Tidak ada pelabelan kategori buku ini di atas kotak barcode, padahal pencantuman "Novel Dewasa" (yang layak untuk buku ini) sudah banyak dijumpai pada buku-buku lain penerbit ini pada tahun terakhir. Satu lagi, sedikit tentang typo. Sepanjang isi cerita, kota Napoli tidak ditulis sebagai "Naples", sedangkan dua kali di sampul belakang disebut "Naples". Hey, sampul belakang, lho.Bintang saya untuk buku ini: 2.5.

  • Book Concierge
    2019-03-12 15:01

    Captain James Gould is a young British intelligence officer during World War II. He arrives in Naples to take over as “the Wedding Officer” – assigned to discourage marriages between British soldiers and Italian girls. He is young, somewhat innocent, and determined to follow all regulations to the letter. He seems to be succeeding when a young widow arrives as the new Officers’ Mess Cook. Livia Pertini has always cooked in her family’s restaurant/bar in the small village on Mount Vesuvius. Her fiery personality and sumptuous feasts soon distract James from his orders.This is a delicious novel that begins as a romantic comedy but moves on to give the reader a lesson on the history of the area in 1944. Capella writes with humor and pathos in describing the war-time experiences of the citizens and soldiers trying to survive not only a war but a volcano’s eruption. Capella wrote about real events in and around Naples in 1944, and I’m glad he included the grittier scenes of chaos and destruction. But where he really excels is in writing about the sights, sounds, smells, textures and tastes of the cuisine, and the effects of those scrumptious meals on the human spirit. For example: He felt a sudden sense that nothing would be the same again. Eve in her garden had bitten an apple. James had eaten an oyster, sitting outside a tiny restaurant overlooking the sea by Sorrento. His undernourished heart swelled in the Italian sunshine like a ripening fig, and he laughed out loud. With a great flood of gratitude he realized that he was having the time of his life.I was completely caught up in the story from beginning to end. I think I must have gained 10 pounds just reading about the food! It certainly made my mouth water.

  • Jennuineglass
    2019-02-24 12:49

    As a lover of "foodie" books I was quite excited to fall into the pages of this summer reading book and devour its sumptuous banquet of characters, sex, war and general homage to the five senses. It was sold as a cross between Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Chocolat...and lives up to neither book. Like a plain child of two beautiful adults, this book was fine. Adequate. Would hold you over if there was nothing else...but it was not transportive or particularly rich in any of the measures of literary depth. The characters were there, the geography inspiring, the plot (war! volcanos! love!) promising, the recipe for 400+ pages of entertainment should have worked. The opening chapters were engaging as the main character, Livia, prepares an afternoon feast for her osteria and the military stranger shows up in town. But then it stopped developing, or I stopped caring. The book felt like a soufflé that starts to rise but doesn't fully puff out and reach its full crowned glory. That is not to say that there weren't chapters that were delightful, there was a stretch of about 100 pages in the middle of the book that were spot on and I tore through them. But then Mr. Capella lost his focus and we blundered about in "No matter what I will find you!" Last of the Mohican's style, only instead of Native Americans, it was Italian partisan Socialists who were backdoor allies during the war. There were a few delightful turns of phrase that I lingered on before turning the page. But on the whole Mr. Capella didn't enthrall me with his novel, but I finished it.So for lovers of Babette's Feast, Como Agua Para Chocolate and Chocolat...I would say leave this book in your queue with a low priority. For everyone else don't bother. Cheers,Jenn

  • Sammie
    2019-03-09 14:14

    After reading the synopsis on the back of the book, I was quite excited to read it; however, I walked away a little disappointed.Set in WWII, it begins with Livia Pertini, living in a town on Mt Vesuvius. She is a cook at her family osteria, which is like a tavern of sorts. It later introduces Cpt. James Gould, a British officer. It is Gould's job to prevent the soldiers from marrying Italian women.The book started off quite slow for me. Since I am an avid reader, I will read the first few chapters just to give the book a chance. I muddled through it and saw the book to the end simply because I was curious. It seems that Capella frequently gets distracted in description of war-time occurances or descriptions of how it was during WWII. I found much of it uninteresting. I am sad to say that there were certain parts that I skimmed.Additionally, I found the main character, Livia Pertini so bull-headed and stubborn, that I found it unattractive. This is a lot coming from someone as stubborn as myself! It wasn't a charming stubbornness or bull-headedness. It was off-putting. If I met this woman in real life, I would most likely tell her to shut up.One amazing plus in throughout the entire book was Capella's description of food. I could smell the aromas, taste the fettuccini. It felt like I was sitting in the kitchen with Livia (in silence of course because remember: I don't like her personality)Overall, it was an okay book, but this is not one I will add to my collection. Perhaps Livia and James can charm someone from the shelves at the local Goodwill Store.

  • Mila
    2019-03-10 17:03

    Wedding Officer. Who knew there was such a job? Duties include deciding if it's OK for a British soldier to marry his Italian sweetheart by conducting interviews with the girls as a way to determine their "character". It was interesting to learn something new about WWII. I also enjoyed the food that was described so well, I could almost taste it. I'd love to go to Livia's restaurant at the foot of Vesuvius right now for some "burrata, creamy balls of mozzarella wrapped in asphodel leaves, made with milk from a pet water buffalo, whose lowing floats occasionally across the fence from their tiny pasture next door."Ironically though, the words that brought me to tears were describing a very poor soup. "But there is a ritual to this meal, as there has been every year since the war ended. As the guests bring their glasses of sparkling prosecco to the table, they are served first of all with bowls of a thin, insubstantial soup. It is little more than pasta water, containing a few humble beans and flavoured with a little mutton fat, and it is, frankly, not very pleasant. The younger members of the group - those who are not old enough to remember the war themselves - make faces, and push it away after one or two mouthfuls. But the older ones eat it slowly and in silence, a faraway expression in their eyes as the taste transports them to another time."

  • penelopewanders
    2019-03-05 16:04

    On loan from Alex. Had read and loved The Food of Love by this author, and am quite caught up in this one as well! Half way through I was talking to a friend and said it reminded me a lot of Captain Corelli's Mandolin. After finishing the book, I read all the little tidbits, kind of licking the plate, so to speak, and saw that on the back cover they make the comparison too. So I'm not very original but I do agree. What a great book. Frequently I was laughing out loud, or close to tears, or angry, or... the descriptions are wonderfully funny, the writing is great... Of course with the setting in Italy WWII it was impossible not to think of Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte as well. Some of the surrealism in that book which it seems was reality -- such as sending the infected prostitutes into German occupied areas, or the food scenes with Alberto only hinted at -- were reminiscent of that, but not in the same bleak way.I've already ordered this book as a birthday present for a good friend of mine and now have to decide whether to buy my own copy. Excellent read, I'm very grateful to Alex for the loan!

  • Kate Quinn
    2019-03-01 21:12

    Another enchanting read from Anthony Capella, filled with good food, great scenery, and marvelous characters. James Gould is your typical upright and well-behaved Englishman, stationed in a small town near Naples during World War II and stuck with a difficult job: discouraging soldiers from marrying their Italian girlfriends. Even more difficult when he starts falling in love with an Italian girl himself: Livia, the pretty and prickly barracks cook who eventually introduces James to Italian food and the various gradations of having sex while technically remaining a virgin. There are sobering third-act twists when James goes off to fight and Livia is deported, but overall humor abounds - as in the moment when Livia is informed that the British don't eat garlic, and a tired-out American soldier tries to figure out the proper Italian so he can tell his girlfriend "Sorry, but I can't go five times." This is a book that will have you vowing to move to Italy, or at least eat a lot of pasta.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-22 16:49

    I thought this book was just beautiful. I would read every word Anthony Capella ever wrote. I wonder if he can cook like he can write about cooking and food? I'd bet money that he can. He does things with food and sex and love all together that I just wouldn't think possible. I will never think of peas and snails in the same way again, that's for sure! But so lovely, so tastefully done. (Pun not intended!) For me this is the Holy Trinity, a beautifully written book about food, and romance, with a little something I didn't know before I read it mixed in."At the end of the day, sex is only sex. A man can be sleeping with the most beautiful woman in the world, but when he gets up from her bad he's still exactly the same person he was before. But a man who has eaten well-he's at peace with the world, he's happy, and more importantly, he wants other people to be happy."

  • Isabel
    2019-03-01 19:59

    Na tradição de "Receitas de amor", "Noivas de guerra" tem como cenário uma Itália com a II Guerra Mundial como pano de fundo. É um livro ligeiro, muito condimentado, algo cinematográfico, onde pairam menções a receitas e pratos tradicionais italianos, que nos despertam (invariavelmente) o paladar, com a satisfação de umas boas gargalhadas pelo meio! O enredo não é algo que já não se possa ter lido, mas não deixa de ser uma história fluída e romântica, abordando a necessidade de sobrevivência por parte das mulheres italianas durante flagelo que foi a IIGM. Uma boa aposta para leitura de férias.

  • Giulia Romiti
    2019-02-28 17:13

    Ben scritto, la narrazione si dilata un po' troppo nella parte centrale ma gli ultimi capitoli si leggono tutti d'un fiato! L'idea di inserire elementi culinari a "contorno" della storia di Livia e del suo Paese non è particolarmente innovativa ma contribuisce a far addentrare maggiormente il lettore nello scenario sociale dell'epoca.

  • Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara
    2019-02-24 13:04

    Ahh..pastinya ini lebih bagus daripada kisah Tomasso di Food of Love..konfliknya unik.. dari kisah cinta, kisah kemanusiaan dibalik perang dunia ke-2, masalah birokrasi sampai kejadian/bencana alam masuk juga didalamnya..dan tentu saja kuliner Italia Selatan..Neopolitan.. yang mmhh..yummy..yummy.. :)Kisah dibuka ketika Livia Pertini, juru masak osteria disebuah desa yang bernama Fiscino..bertemu dengan tentara Italia (posisi Italia adalah sekutu Jerman) yang tengah bersiap untuk melakukan pertempuran ke Rusia..Enzo nama tentara Italia itu (lupa nama belakangnya..tampan pastinya..coba bayangkan Pato..kenapa Pato ya? Padahal kan bukan orang Italia..??! karena kupikir Enzo mirip Alexandre Pato #maksa ;p ), kisah cinta mereka yang super kilat..mereka menikah dan tanpa terasa Enzo pun berangkat ke medan peperangan..meninggalkan Livia. Setelah beberapa lama, terhembus kabar bahwa Enzo telah tewas dimedan peperangan. :”( pasca kematian Enzo.. hal buruk terus menimpa Livia, mulai dari posisi Italia yang direbut oleh tentara sekutu, kematian sapi betina kesayangannya; Pupetta..dari Pupetta-lah dan juga Pricilla (sapi betinanya yang lain) osteria kecil ini dapat menghasilkan Mozarella segar..”saking segarnya sampai-sampai kita masih bisa merasakan rumput yang dimakan kedua sapiku ini”..begitu kata Livia untuk mendeskripsikan lezatnya Mozarella buatannya sendiri....Pupetta mati akibat tembakan senapan oleh tentara sekutu, mereka (tentara sekutu) mengerat paha dari mayat sapi betina itu dan meninggalkan sisanya..begitu saja.. kekejaman yang dilakukan oleh tentara sekutu ditambah proses transisi militer yang dialami oleh Italia menyebabkan para penduduk menjadi kesulitan mendapatkan bahan pangan.. dan osteria Livia harus tutup karena tidak ada bahan makanan untuk dimasak. Sementara itu, ditempat yang berbeda. Kapten James Gould pria muda berkebangsaan Inggris mendapatkan jabatan baru..setelah kemenangan pertempuran tentara sekutu di Afrika..James dipindah tugaskan ke Italia..menjadi Pejabat Pernikahan (Wedding Officer), di Naples (Napoli) tahun 1943. WO bertugas untuk menyeleksi gadis-gadis Italia kekasih para tentara sekutu.. para gadis-gadis Italia ini diselidiki; apakah ia gadis baik-baik atau pelacur, dimana tempat tinggalnya, dan siapakah yang membiayai hidup mereka..James dikenal sebagai petugas yang disiplin, anti sogokan, tidak bisa dirayu, sedikit kaku tetapi tegas menerapkan aturannya untuk mencoret siapa saja gadis Italia ini yang tidak memenuhi syarat. Hoho..sampai timbul ide dari maitre d Angelo..untuk menjadikan Livia..peluntur hati yang kaku ini..dengan hidangan yang disajikan dan kecantikan wajahnya..Atas bantuan Angelo, jalan Livia untuk menjadi juru masak para pasukan tentara sekutu ini..mulus nyaris tanpa pesaing..percakapan pertama Livia dan James mengenai persepsi mereka terhadap kuliner negeri mereka masing-masing, ada satu hal yang layak untuk dikenang, misalnya;Kapt. James Gould: “satu hal Mrs. Pertini; kuharap belum terlambat untuk memberitahukan ini; tidak ada diantara kami yang makan bawang putih.” Lanjutnya “lada merah yang kalian makan disini..apa namanya itu?”Livia Pertini: “Peperoncino”Kapt. James Gould: “itu dia..kami juga tidak suka itu”Livia Pertini: “itu saja?”Kapt. James Gould: “kentang lebih disukai daripada pasta-kami tidak begitu suka maccheroni seperti kalian orang Itali. Tetapi kau akan melihat bahwa kami tidak terlalu merepotkan. Banyak daging, dimasak dengan benar, tomat lebih disukai tidak dimasak sama sekali, roti, saus..kau bisa dapatkan saus dengan sedikit mentega.. itu hebat sekali! Dan ehm..minyak zaitun sedikit saja” *waktu makan siang*Livia datang membawa hidangan spektakulernya.. haha :D rasakan itu tentara sekutu!!Fetuccine yang diaduk bersama banyak saus tomat, minyak zaitun, bawang putih cincang, seledri dan dihias dengan daun kemangi yang sudah dipotong-potong.Kapt. James Gould: “saranku sama sekali tidak digubris..” --Pada satu peristiwa, James mencurigai Livia menyajikan hidangan yang berafiliansi dengan warna bendera Italia; merah, putih dan hijau.. James curiga itu adalah salah satu bentuk protes Livia atas pendudukan tentara sekutu di Italia..--Sedikit protes disana-sini.. sedikit curiga..sedikit simpati..dan pertemuan mereka yang terus menerus. Ibarat pepatah:-- Dari perut naik ke hati, pasokan sajian yang terus dihidangkan Livia walaupun bukan selera James awalnya(tau sendiri kan kuliner asli Inggris, anyep alias tanpa rasa)..dan seiring kebersamaan mereka; James dan Livia mulai jatuh cinta, kedekatannya dengan Livia mulai sedikit melonggarkan aturan James mengenai para gadis Italia untuk menikah dengan kekasih tentara mereka..James banyak menyetujui pengajuan pernikahan beda negara ini.. masalah mulai timbul ketika James berniat menikah dengan Livia.. apakah yang sang Officer ini akan melanggar aturan yang diterapkannya sendiri?? Dan apakah keduanya dapat bersatu ditengah kecamuk panasnya perang dunia ke-2 dan Vesuvius yang tegas menentang bersatunya mereka??

  • Sinta Nisfuanna
    2019-03-03 20:53

    Berlatarkan Perang Dunia kedua, kisah romansa antara Livia Pertini dan James Gould bergulir. Sebuah kisah yang mengambil setting tempat di Negara Italia. James Gould adalah seorang pejabat pernikahan, yang bertugas untuk menghalangi para tentara sekutu menikah dengan wanita Italia. Semula Gould adalah pejabat pemerintahan yang tegas dan berhati dingin. Segala pengajuan pernikahan yang mengatasnamakan, tentara dan wanita italia, pasti akan ditampik dengan berbagai alasan. Tidak hanya masalah pernikahan yang dirugikan, tapi James Gould juga memerintahkan rumah makan untuk ditutup, dikarenakan banyaknya aktivitas pelacuran yang tersimpan di balik perdagangan makanan.Banyak pedagang yang dirugikan dengan peraturan yang ditetapkan utusan sekutu tersebut. Salah satunya Angelo, seorang pemilik Zi’ Teresa’s rumah makan elit. Dia mengalami kerugian yang cukup besar atas penutupan usahanya. Akhirnya, untuk mengatasi masalahnya, dia menyusupkan Livia Pertini, seorang gadis Fiscino, Italia. Yang secara tidak langsung akan menggoda Gould dengan keahliannya meramu masakan. Dan benar, James Gould tertarik dengan Livia, menyebabkan beberapa keputusannya menjadi melunak. Akibatnya, dilema pun memenuhi kepala James Gould, sebagai pejabat penikahan, yang tak sepantasnya mencintai seorang wanita Italia.Anthony Capella memberikan beragam wacana dalam buku yang dipersembahkannya untuk sang ayah. Keindahan teluk Napoli dan gagahnya Gunung Vesuvius, tak mampu menutupi kekacauan kehidupan Napoli, penggelapan penisilin, pelacur yang telah menjadi “identitas” dari 90% jumlah wanita, pembunuhan tanpa kenal hati, bahkan kekalutan saat si gagah, Gunung Vesuvius, meletus. Kisah keterpurukan social ekonomi Italia menjadi dengan cerita romansa antara Livia dan Gould, serta deskripsi menu-menu masakan.Namun sayang, di balik deskripsi cerita yang apik, buku dengan ketebalan 560 halaman ini bertuturkan dengan amat berbelit-belit, bahkan saya tidak merasa kehilangan ketika melewatkan beberapa halaman. Selain itu, banyaknya tokoh dan permasalahan, sering kali tidak terangkai dengan baik, seperti kisah antara Jumbo dan Elena yang tidak jelas arahnya kemana, ataupun cerita Eric yang menggoda Livia, terasa hanya selentingan untuk penambah ketebalan buku.

  • an
    2019-03-02 16:11

    bukan cerita cinta biasamelihat judul dan cover na yang seakan berbunga-bunga, maka perkiraan isi na akan penuh dengan cinta-cinta. awal na malas membaca buku dengan genre seperti ini tapi karena diobral hanya 10 ribu dengan buku setebal ini, kanapa engga' mencoba memiliki na.dan ternyata... isi na tidak semurah harga na. kisah cinta yang diawali dengan konflik perang, konflik budaya dan konflik kepentingan. berlatar belakang italia pada masa perang dunia, cinta antara penduduk lokal dan pasukan yang ngaku na penyelamat. bagaimana konflik batin antara livia dan james.sedikit tentang livia bahwa dia adalah adalah gadis lokal yang pandai memasak. sedangkan james adalah tentara inggris yang ditugaskan untuk menekan pertumbuhan penduduk selama perang. mereka dipertemukan oleh... makanan. maka bersiap-siaplah dengan camilan ketika membaca buku ini jika kau tidak ingin merasa kelaparan saat membayangkan asap sedap masakan menguar dari dalam buku ini. bersama tomat dan saus lain yang dimasak di dalam na.mengapa ini bukan kisah cinta biasa? karena mereka dipertemukan oleh peranng. dan kisah sampingan na justru menjadi kisah tambahan yang membingkai sejarah yang mungkin tidak diketahui banyak orang. bagaimana keperntingan negara adikuasa mengorbankan warga sipil yang tidak tahu apa-apa. bagaimana korban yang paling banyak terenggut dari semua na adalah orang yang tak tahu apa-apa juga. bagaimana dalam situasi seperti itu, hanya mereka yang bermain gelaplah yang bisa bertahan.belum lagi dengan ada na bencana meletus na vesuvius. jadi teringat kisah pompeii yang ditulis robert harris. satu benca na itu saja sudah cukup mengerikan, bagaimana jika dipadukan dengan perang dunia dengan bom-bom mereka.dan apa yang terjadi dengan pasangan ini, yang awal na tidak mau mengakui ketertarikan masing-masing? yang tidak ingin meninggalkan tanah air na, yang tidak ingin dipecat dari pekerjaan na, yang tidak ingin menjadi pasangan korban perang.makanan, perang dan bencana alam, ternyata mampu menyatukan dalam sepanci resep cinta untuk mereka berdua. walau dengan suami yang telah mati saat perang dan kisah cinta yang ditinggalkan tunanngan, namun... cinta adalah resep, bukan bohlam lampu :) -81-

  • MB (What she read)
    2019-03-24 18:17

    2.5 starsVery cinematic. I could almost hear the soundtrack swelling behind me as I read through this book. Several plot points were obviously included for their visual drama rather than as relevance to the plot (view spoiler)[tank as a plow? exploding volcano? obese (of course) villain? (hide spoiler)]The problem for me with this book was that although it was intended as a romance, I found the plot to be distinctly unromantic. Every single female (except for a elderly martyr, a child prostitute, and a magical virgin) are either madonnas, whores, whores who become madonnas, or madonnas who become whores.The whole plot revolves around starving women forced to sell their bodies to stay alive. I'm sorry, this may be considered romantic to a man (titillating anyway!) but it is distinctly UNromantic to me as a woman.In this way, I found the reading experience similar to Habibi. Probably no one else will mind this kind of thing, but I do. And, this is my review. I had to force myself to finish it. I could also compare this to the movies 'Pretty Woman' and 'Memoirs of a Geisha'. If you consider those romantic, you will enjoy this book.I've been reading way too many books where rape is used gratuitiously to amp up the drama. I'm getting tired of this plot trope.So...romance? (maybe, depends on how you feel and on your sex) That element didn't work for me this time.

  • Uci
    2019-03-04 17:13

    Sebuah kisah cinta klasik. Terjadi di tengah peperangan, melibatkan dua manusia berbeda negara. Kisah cinta berlatar belakang sejarah memang selalu menarik, karena penulis bisa memanfaatkan seabrek data yang aslinya memang sudah menarik, tinggal dikutak-kutik dan ditambahkan bumbu-bumbu penyedap. Ditambah lokasi cerita yang sangat eksotis, maka jadilah. Tapi yang membuat buku ini sangat berkesan bagi saya sebenarnya deskripsi makanan Italia yang bertebaran di sana-sini. Membayangkannya saja sudah bikin air liur menetes, jadi tak sabar untuk segera membalik halaman dan menemukan resep-resep lezat lainnya (Lho ini novel atau buku resep sih?)Tapi nggak heran sih, melihat Anthony Capella yang memang penggemar kuliner. Saya belum membaca novel pertamanya, The Food of Love. Tapi saya yakin isinya juga banyak membahas makanan, dan kalau tidak salah settingnya di Italia juga.Kembali ke Pejabat Pernikahan. Saya malah merasa adegan peperangan di garis depan dan adegan perjuangan gerilyawan komunis agak dipaksakan untuk ada. Diseplipkan di halaman-halaman menjelang akhir, hanya untuk memberikan pengantar pertemuan kembali Livia dan James, disusul adegan percintaan lagi tentunya. Mungkin biar terasa suasana perangnya, padahal kisah-kisah di garis belakang yang diceritakan di sebagian besar isi buku sudah cukup membuat pembaca terpikat.Yah, mungkin benar yang dikatakan orang: All's fair in love and war. (Nggak nyambung!) :D

  • Emily
    2019-03-09 19:51

    The book is about a guy, James, who is stationed in Naples as an intelligent agent and Wedding Officer who has to approve of all marriages of British Soldiers and when he takes over he starts making people follow the rules really maybe a bit to much even. Then there is the girl, Livia, who lives in a village outside Naples and cooks for the family restaurant. Livia is married before the war to the soldier and he is killed in the war, but Livia still won't break her marriage vows fighting against the mob who is trying to break her. Livia ends up having to run away from her village to Naples to make money to support the family and get away from the guy who is trying to manipulate her. In an attempt to loosen James up a friend gets Livia to be his cook. In their time together James and Levia end up teaching each other about life and falling in love. When events in the war tear them apart and separate them they must use what they have each taught each other and find out what they really want. I really enjoyed this book and though the descriptions used in it were amazing. A lot of the book was about cooking and the dishes that Livia made and with the descriptions you could almost taste them at times. Also, there are war scene that have descriptions that can give you the feeling of what the characters are around too. Overall, a good book I enjoyed that has a great strong main female character and would suggest to others.

  • Shannon
    2019-03-10 18:02

    Having read Capella's first book, I was very excited to read how he would weave words together in order for me to actually taste the Italian meals that the character Livia makes. I was disappointed, however, as the book started off strong and detailed the lives of Italians during World War II in a way I had not yet previously considered and then dragged on and on and on. James Gould is an officer for the British army who meets and falls in love with Livia despite being unable to marry her. The plot starts out just fine and then becomes incredibly convoluted and long-winded. Suddenly Capella feels the need to make his novel a glimpse into the horrors and realities of wartime fighting. I literally skimmed and may have even skipped over entire pages at the end. To top it all off, the epilogue tries to gather every character who had ever made an appearance in the book and provide resolution to his/her life. It was just completely unrealistic and annoying, honestly.Capella did very well with his first book - it was intriguing and put me right in the heart of Italy. My hope was that the Wedding Officer would do the same. I was horribly disappointed, however.

  • Nina Draganova
    2019-03-19 19:57

    Уао! Абсолютно откровение и пир за сетивата ! Започва като романтична комедия, на места накарала ме да се смея с глас. Минава през съвършено описание на усещания и ухания и вкусове от превъзходната италианска кухня. Последвани от чувствени любовни такива.За да стигне до мрачния край на Втората световна война и всички съпътстващи я ужаси.Изненадана съм , удовлетворена и много радостна да открия таланта на Антъни Капела. И за пореден път се убеждавам, че подценяването е мой специалитет. Т.е представях си неговите книги,предимно описващи разни манджи. Е, разгеле , че все пак опитах."Понякога няма значение какво желаеш или не желаеш да чувстваш.Понякога сърцето взима свои собствени решения и единственото,което ти остава, е да прецениш дали да го оставиш да те води."" - Мислех си, че ако на този свят не съществуваха тестиси,нямаше да има война, но също така нямаше да има и секс.Чудех се дали Господ е взел правилното решение,когато ги е създал."

  • Indah Threez Lestari
    2019-02-27 20:18

    583 - 2015'Do you lick nipples, Gems?' she said sleepily into his ear.'I lick--I like Naples very much.'Waktu kemarin menemukan buku ini di diskonan B&B seharga 33k, aku sempat galau. Sudah tahu rak buku terbatas, musti ya beli lagi buku versi english meskipun sudah punya terjemahannya?Tapi... tapi... memang membaca versi aslinya jauh lebih asyik. Belum lagi kalau ada sisipan humor bahasa yang kalau diterjemahkan secara harfiah pasti jadi aneh atau hilang nuansanya.Omong-omong, potongan percakapan yang bisa bikin salah paham di atas diterjemahkan seperti apa ya? Sudah lupa. *brb ngecek buku terjemahannya*N.B. Membaca ulang novel ini, aku jadi membayangkan tokoh James dan Livia dengan sosok Colin Firth dan istrinya. Pasangan Inggris - Italia. Belum lagi nama istri Colin Firth juga Livia :))

  • Carol
    2019-03-19 16:55

    I had mixed feelings about this book; in part b/c it was billed as a good summer read / feel good romance, which it really wasn't at all. The history part regarding WWII in Italy was very interesting, and the food bits were fabulous. The romance was good, but there were a few trite, worn-out misunderstandings that I could have done without. It did have, as so many other books and movies, a good "saving grace" ending which almost made it rank a bit higher, but not enough for me. Perhaps if I had expected more of the war information: the heartbreak, the sacrifice, the evils of society, I might have enjoyed it more.

  • Kate Forsyth
    2019-02-23 19:01

    I loved this book too! What a delight. The story of a love affair between a British officer and his tempestuous Italian cook in the final years of the Second World War, it would make a wonderful movie. I'd pay to see it, for sure. I've read two earlier books by Anthony Capella, The Food of Love and The Empress of Icecream, and like them, this book is full of fabulous descriptions of food. I cooked my family an Italian feast once I'd finished this book, though I had to look up some of the recipes on the internet. I can't believe this book is not better known – it should be. One of the best books so far this year.

  • Beth
    2019-03-08 14:02

    Overall I would recommend this as a light read, though it got a bit far-fetched at times. It is about 50% love story, 25% war story, 25% food story. I guess I would categorize it as historical fiction, because it all takes place in Naples during WWII. Though the events are all based on true events, the fact that so many things happened to the main characters is where it gets a bit far-fetched feeling at times. However, if you like historic fiction and don't want anything too heavy, this is perfect.

  • Kristy
    2019-03-02 16:49

    This book combined some of my favorite things....romance, delicious food, history, and vivid descriptions of life in Italy during world war II. The characters were all interesting, three-dimensional people. It was a very fast read despite its more than 400 pages. The last few chapters showed a gritty reality which was a departure from the earlier chapters of the book although serious issues were woven in throughout. Like most romances, the ending was happy bringing a wistful tear to my eye. Very much recommend this book!