A Pinch of Coriander
The stories in A Pinch of Coriander Trilogy explore the lives of the Ponti family and their friends, as they undertake the journeys of life and love. Family secrets are revealed, wounds are healed, vows are broken and taken. Innocence is lost and wisdom gained as the characters in these deeply-felt, heart-warming and gently humorous novels try to steer their lives in the right direction, and finally make everything come together with a 'pinch of coriander'.
Reviewed in Canada on September 27, 2021
From a kiss on a Nova Scotia beach, to an escape to a Taverna in Capri, to Florence and beyond this delightful Trilogy will keep you happily engaged. The prose is addictive, the descriptions are savory and the characters are many and fun.
Reviewed in Canada on December 21, 2021
A Pinch of Coriander Trilogy
Review by Delia De Santis
I am not one given to reading trilogies all at once. But reading A Pinch of Coriander: books 1, 2 and 3 was a new, exhilarating experience for me. I couldn’t put my Kindle down just because the page said End of Book One. I wanted to know more about the remarkable characters filling these pages.
After having read all three books, I felt I had lived my life with the characters. They were not transient people that you could forget the minute the story was told. Their situations, conflicts and embroilments were not easily dismissed. I wanted to give them advice. I wanted to tell them, “Watch out. What you’re doing will get you into trouble.” Or “There, that’s the best way to go.... These characters have more grit than expected, making you want to follow them to their next crossroads. That’s where I hope a next sequel will lead us
A Pinch of Coriander
Time Will Tell
Professor Nick Ponti knows about many things, Renaissance art, jazz, gourmet cooking and fine wines. He thinks he knows who he is, and everything about the lives and loves of his family and friends. Like coriander, his favorite spice to season with, his world seems sweet and uncomplicated. But life soon stirs-up a minestra of conflicts and vexing questions:
Is a sin of omission, a lie?
Should secrets be taken to the grave, or stay buried?
How many friends and lovers can a marriage hold?
When to bring a child home, when to let her go?
Time will tell, as Nick tries, like his favorite spice, to make everything in life sweet again, in this delicious story of love, family, and friendship.
The novels in A Pinch of Coriander Trilogy, like those of Maeve Binchy,
are full of interesting, quirky characters, intriguing plots, and gentle humour. Deep, heart- felt stories; they are books to be savoured, like good food, and fine wine.
A Pinch of Coriander
The Truth About Secrets
In Book Two, vows are broken, and new vows are spoken. Promises not kept lead to a rude awakening, as Lucinda's romantic dreams turn into a nightmare.
Jesse harbours misgivings about her commitments and learns to stand her ground. Father Frank has a crisis of conscience, making him doubt his vocation.
Aldo and Athina each turn a surprising corner into separate adventures. For Athina, a commitment to nurturing a new love, for Aldo, it's a commitment to a new home, and a new, intriguing friend, with a bombshell secret of her own.
Mid-life reveals a blessing in disguise for the Pontis, which at first delights, then troubles Nick, revealing to him more than he wanted of the truth about secrets.
A Pinch of Coriander
Long Way Home
In Book Three: Long Way Home, characters search for meaning and adventure, taking their lives and dilemmas on the road: Lucinda sets her sights and sails in a new life-direction, taking no baggage on board.
While Jesse has a Grecian sojourn and a near-fatal attraction, that sends her back to the future.
Lidia's future becomes unexpectedly adrift. The Pontis decide their marriage needs a course-correction, so set their compass for a time-out in Tuscany, where home becomes a destination that is a long way, and too far, to reach together.
Italian Canadians At Table
The persistence of misconceptions about Italian-Canadian food culture raises many questions for us. Are we gluttonous, inebriate and too loud? Do we force-feed guests? Are we in fact food-obsessed? How many grains of truth can a stereotype hold? We had to know, so we asked articulate and thoughtful Italian-Canadian writers and simpatico friends from British Columbia to Newfoundland. The responses were surprising, thoughtful, entertaining and often touching, making my co-editor, Delia De Santis, and I very glad we asked, as every piece which streamed over the internet’s ether was a gift and a joy to read. And the result is Italian Canadians at Table, a passionate literary feast of poetry and prose.
“Italian Canadians at Table gathers a community of writers devoted to sharing the tastes of home. Lush, passionate, occasionally ribald-these varied essays will whet your appetite for food and story.”
Valerie Compton, author of Tide Road and CBC Literary Awards Judge.
The authors, most Italian-Canadian, often relate how they felt as children, compared to how they feel today about their relatives' generosity when it came to food and the house-guest. Shame has been replaced by understanding, amusement, and even pride. There is a recognition that the attempt to keep up childhood-learned food rituals are actually a way to remember who one is, and where one came from.
Read the full and illustrated review at Italophile Book Reviews:
The preparation of Italian food and its sharing becomes a way of strengthening bonds, creating friendships and remembering the past. The short stories and poems about food present Italian generosity, Italian warmth and the fascination with traditions as well as a certain openness to anything new. Tales of longing, of remembrance, of nostalgia, of admiration or of great amusement are gathered in this book which is both a culinary and intellectual feast reflecting identity within the immigration context.
I must admit I also liked it because I discovered facets I hadn't known of some personalities I enormously admire and who helped me in my studies.