A sumptous tale of food to heal the deepest wounds, of the hungers of war and the bittersweet nature of love. Naive and already war-weary, James Gouding takes up a position in Naples in 1943. What he doesn't anticipate is that this involves a limited menu of fried Spam fritters and interrogating the would-be Italian fiancees of members of the armed forces. James's chance at true heroism arrives when a German tank is sighted and he is caught in its path. However, it is the imperious and dogmatic Livia who opens the hatch and yells at him to stop being such an idiot. Livia gladly becomes cook, translator, and general factotum to James. The two begin to fall in love, but the eruption of Vesuvius triggers a chain of explosive events that will force the two to flee behind enemy lines and will alter their lives immeasurably.More
"The Wedding Officer resembles a cross between Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Chocolat, while remaining a charming and powerful fiction in its own right." Michael Arditti
"A wartime adventure and a heartbeat hastening romance [which] is punctuated by mouthwatering descriptions of Italian meals... Richard E. Grant narrates with magnificent panache, convincingly Italian as the crisply insulting Livia Pettini and wonderfully stiff in his upper lip as James Gould, the high-minded disciplinarian gradually seduced by food and beauty into appreciating Livia and her background." Christina Hardyment, The Times
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