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The Umbrian Supper Club

When four women of a similar age, similar souls and similar passions get together to cook, a wonderful bond is formed.  This bond is so strong, that over the four year period of the story, each woman has an opportunity to discuss and disclose aspects of her earlier life, never before revealed.  It is precisely because of the closeness of spirit and love, that each in her turn, can reveal, expose, and maybe alter a little, their own past feelings and beliefs.

The Thursday night supper club was hosted by Miranda, in a small stone hut.  The women, who gathered to cook, eat, drink and talk, all shared a passion for Umbrian traditional dishes.  Sometimes a passing truck driver would call by to eat and some of the village men would join in the meal.  Often food was left for the women to cook and to create dishes.

The author had been living in the village for some time, before being recognised by Miranda as a kindred spirit.  She was an outsider.  When Marlena offered to take over the main cooking role, she hoped this would be an entry into the world of these women.  It took time. 

There is a great beauty in the revelations that each of the women ultimately share.  The common factor is hardship, poverty and a huge ignorance of how the world really was.  None of them looked for sympathy, but it is revealed how the young innocent girl became the older woman that she is today, what she faced in life and what she discovered about what really matters.

The discussions are insightful into a culture and history that spared little time for the plight of women.  As the women talk and cook, the bread they break and the food they share, binds them together with a richness missing in their past lives.

Their recipes at the end of this book follow on from the story.  They are succulent, simple and a love offering.

AuthorMarlena de Blasi
PublisherAllen & Unwin