Author Janet Sierzant makes a salient point about how little we really know of our family origins, especially in cases where they have moved across the big wide world, far apart from one another, to seek a new way of living. For travel fans, the recent history and cultural summation of Sicily will certainly be really engaging and entertaining to go through, but for me, the real standout is the deeply personal connection that Sierzant communicates through her heartfelt narrative style. Discovering other relatives and where the paths of their lives have led them, the author’s central journey deftly handles topics of identity, love, and bonding in an easy and enjoyable reading format. Overall, Sauce on Sunday is a highly recommended read for fans of cultural travel non-fiction and leisurely life story reads which also have hidden depths and true familial warmth.
This book is a good read and the author makes it delightful as she combines her desire to trace her ancestral roots and at the same time soak up the flavors of a country to which she actually belongs. The pictures are beautiful and they make the beauty of the place tangible to readers and the recipes are good to savor the delicious Italian food. For all those travelers who are keen to explore places in Italy, this book will be a good guide to help them decide where to go and what to see. Books like this will motivate readers to travel and explore new destinations. The narration is vivid and detailed and, coupled with the pictures, makes Sicily and other places in Italy come alive for readers.
I must admit that in taking up Sauce on Sunday I was expecting to read a fairly detailed genealogical narrative on finding one's Sicilian family history, so I was a little surprised to find instead a light, chatty travelogue that I could almost recommend as a tourist guide. Her light-hearted descriptions of the towns, the architecture, the places of interest, and the cuisine of the area were captivating. The personal touches - having to leave her beloved cat behind in the US, losing her case and being pestered by amorous but wholly unsuitable men - added another dimension, and the discovery of many living relatives brought some drama and a nice harmony to the book, as did the local recipes placed at random throughout the narrative. As a record of the author's search for her Sicilian roots, it worked very well. Sauce on Sunday is an accomplished piece of work from a talented author.
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The National League of American Pen Women has awarded Sauce on Sunday by Janet Sierzant, first place in non-fiction memoirs.