| The Food of Love
It's been a while now since I finished The Food of Love, but I'm still getting emails from readers about it, so I guess there must still be people out there who are picking it up for the first time.
One of the remarkable things about having a website is that it lets readers talk back to writers in a way that would have been impossible even, say, twenty years ago. And believe me, there`s nothing like getting a note from someone who absolutely loved the book, or a report of a heated discussion about it at a book group. One or two emails in particular stick in my mind. There was the lovely note which said:
I don't have time to power through a book in a week - that's luxury. But 'The Food of Love' was a passion feast... I couldn't wait to read it at night, I even took it in the car to read in traffic jams (I almost went looking for traffic jams!).
It was particularly nice to get several like this:
After reading your story, I`ve been inspired to cook. Very simple stuff. I was very happy to be successful with some of the recipes that you supplied at the end of the book.
And it was great that some of the people who liked the book were professional chefs. One wrote to me from Australia:
I have been aware at times in my career of some experience which makes me wake up and rethink the way I cook and your book did this.
I had many of my sweetest letters from Australia. I got one that started:
I have just reached the final page of what I can confidently claim to be the most beautiful novel that I have ever read…
Gratifying, but even I wouldn't go that far. Then there was the book group that organised a local restaurant to cook some of the dishes in the book, and reported back to me on their aphrodisiac effects... But my absolute favourite wass the email from the lady who wrote:
I recently happened to read ''The Food of love'' and I was totally mesmerized. In fact, I’m still fascinated because I got the inspiration and courage to post the book to the man I love, hoping to give him a hint about my feelings.
- which was like the story of the book retelling itself all over again. There was no happy ending, though – it turned out that both parties were married to other people…
Also on these pages you`ll find some quirky stuff, like a couple of scenes that didn`t fit in the final book, and some rather poor-quality photos I took on a research trip back to Trastevere (where I stayed when I first visited Rome to teach English, many years ago). Book groups might be interested in the synopsis of Cyrano de Bergerac. Then there`s a message board where you can leave Italian recipes and tips, and - my personal favourite - you can also send a very beautiful e-card to a friend, which contains a link so that they can download the first two chapters of the book. If there`s anything else you`d like to see here, write and let me know.