“I’m married to an Italian, so I know what Mediterranean cuisine ought to taste like. This book explains the secrets of this kind of cooking, interwoven with the delightful love story of the author’s grandmother and her future husband. Letters and numerous fine illustrations show the simple but elegant life of people on the Croatian island of Hvar in the early 20th century.”
-ANNA SOMERS COCKS OBE, FSA, Chief Executive, The Art Newspaper
“This is a wonderful love story, narrated by Flora Turner-Vučetić, writer, art historian, and granddaughter of the heroine of this love affair… It is a tale of passionate caresses and feelings embodied in dishes and cakes selected for their symbolism which have made a journey together with letters and recipes. This tale, presented in the form of a series of intimate missives, exudes delicious flavours and aromas, and is deeply imbued with the fundamentals of a small island world.”
-VELJKO BARBIERI, award-winning Croatian author, food writer and journalist; from his book Vrijeme je za gozbu (It’s time for a feast)
“This is a beautiful book… It is a history book. It is a love book. It is also a cook book. By simply putting her grandmother’s recipes and grandfather’s love letters together, without falling into the temptation of fictitiously re-creating love’s passion, Flora Turner-Vučetić creates a suspended arch of almost sinless carnality.
What creates the hyperbolically hidden suspense in this case is the juxtaposition of the grandfather’s love letters (full of rather formulaic passionate love and longing) with the absence of grandmother Flora’s replies. Her letters have gone missing. Instead, the author offers her grandmother’s recipes… as an erotic, indeed a carnal response to the faraway fiancé, in line with the stringent rules governing love at that time. The author has unmistakably conveyed to us from the lives of those two long-time dead people the beauty of their pure love and the subtle triumph of the carnality over the moral puritanism of the epoch.”
-H. E. JOŠKO PARO, Croatian Ambassador, at the launch of the first edition in Washington