Full of lighthearted humor, sumptuous food, the wisdom of an Italian mother-in-law, and all the atmosphere of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, this warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad. Thanks to a surprising romance—and a spirited woman who teaches her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love—a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean.
In this warmly funny and spirited memoir, American-born Katherine Wilson arrives in Naples, Italy, for an internship at the U.S. Consulate. One evening, she meets handsome Salvatore and finds herself immediately enveloped by his elegant mother, Raffaella, and the rest of the Avallone family. From that moment, Katherine’s education begins: Never eat the crust of a pizza first, always stand up and fight for yourself and your loved ones, and consider mealtimes sacred—food must be prepared fresh and consumed in compagnia. Unexpectedly falling for Salvatore, and captivated by Raffaella’s companionship and guidance, Katherine discovers how to prepare meals that sing—from hearty, thick ragù to comforting pasta al forno. Through courtship, culture clashes, marriage, and motherhood, Katherine comes to appreciate carnale, the quintessentially Neapolitan sense of comfort and confidence in one’s own skin. The Mother-in-Law Cure is a sumptuous story that is a feast for the senses. Goethe said, “See Naples and die.” But Katherine Wilson saw Naples and started to live.