- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: National Geographic (March 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1426213743
- ISBN-13: 978-1426213748
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness Hardcover – March 3, 2015
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"Poignant, heartwarming and generously filled with delicious recipes." --Kirkus Reviews
"Food had long provided the few happy moments in Martin’s life...These moments may not be enough to satiate the appetite of foodie readers who are looking for lush bite-by-bite writing, but there is plenty here to engross memoir lovers." -Publisher's Weekly
"Martin peppers this memoir with recipes reflective of her life’s circumstances of the moment, from stuffed artichokes to apple pie. Her assured prose endows this narrative of an atypical upbringing with both immediacy and poignancy. " - Booklist
"Many readers will relate to the ways that Life from Scratch connects food and family." --Shelf Awareness
"Sasha Martin intended to publish what’s called a stunt memoir....Thankfully, her memoir, Life From Scratch is not that book. It has more in common with The Glass Castle than it does with 300 Sandwiches: A Multilayered Love Story . . . with Recipes, though it does include recipes." --Washington Post
"While a taste of food from around the world would have been delicious enough, the memoir that Martin ultimately wrote is far more satisfying." --Tulsa Kids
"Sasha Martin’s beautiful memoir-cum-cookbook... makes for ideal summer escapism. Martin’s memoir will find resonance in anyone who’s found that the art of cooking can be as much an emotional experience as a sensory one." --Scribd.com
About the Author
SASHA MARTIN is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. Her work has been featured on NPR (Travel with Rick Steves), Whole Living, Bon Appetit, The Smithsonian, The Huffington Post, CNNgo, and Food52. Her website, Global Table Adventure, is a go-to hub for foodies around the world.
Top Customer Reviews
What her story becomes, more than a cooking exhibition is a story of a troubled life full of rejection and most of all a search and hunger for peace of mind.
Her mother is eccentric and when she and her brother are young her mother works sewing in their apartment, even though she would be able to be qualified as a teacher. Sasha has 3 other siblings which her mother gave custody to their father when they divorced. Their love is mutual, but their mother's extreme behavior leads school officials to call social services. Sasha and her brother are tossed back and forth until their mother gives guardianship of them to her friend who moves frequently around the world. It seems that the friends wanted a son and Sasha is extra baggage.
The story is hard and we are privy to her angst and sorrows and tragedies. We also learn some of her mother's recipes and more of Sasha's. There are 29 included. Many have exotic ingredients and are quite complicated. At one point Sasha suffers from cyanide poisoning from cassava. She changes her recipe in her blog but does not warn readers of the dangers of improper preparation.
However, within the pages is a meat sauce recipe that is marvelous as well as an orange chicken and a dark chocolate Guinness cake with Bailey's buttercream icing.
Sash learns and imparts her lessons, both in cooking and in life. There is a need and a joy in community.
Those who enjoy stories of cooking and are interested in reading stories of a family caught in a struggle to accept themselves and discover a good life might enjoy this book.
Martin's narrative of her childhood and her memories of her mother become even more interesting as she starts to fill in the blanks with some family backstory. Her ability to bring her childhood memories to life is a credit to her ability as a writer.
There are also recipes. I loved the first crepe recipe, which reminded me of my mother's crepe recipe. We would gather around the kitchen while my mom meticulously cooked each thin little pancake and then we would eat them with syrup and butter. Memories of food have a way of bringing our past to life. I think this is why I enjoyed this book so much.
This is a fun read and it is never boring. It even brings up questions about life, and decisions, and how choices affect our history and the people we have in our lives. This is a unique history with an emphasis on food and how it affects our lives and memories.
Also - I am not sure what some reviewers were expecting based on the National Geographic summary - I found it very accurate. The book is exactly as described.Read more ›
For example, I do not for one moment believe that a Child Protective Services employee just happened to be driving by and saw an instance of something that appeared to him to indicate child neglect, but in reality was just a zany, individualistic approach to child rearing. Yes, okay, it would be a little more believable if that type of thing happened once and the mom learned something from it and never did such a thing again. But these things just kept happening.
The other thing that really bothers me about this book is how many atrocious grammar mistakes the author makes. I guess this could be due to her spotty education, but good grief, she made it through college and obviously has access to the Internet. I'm reading this for my book group and I'm only halfway through it, but honestly, I don't know how many more instances of using "I" instead of "me" and the other way around I can stomach. She also apparently never learned the proper uses of the words "laid" or "pouring."
I know receiving editing assistance is in many cases a thing of the past nowadays, but couldn't she have found some hungry English Major and traded that person a meal or two for a thorough vetting of the grammar in her book? How can she or the publisher not be embarrassed that this made it to print with all these errors that a middle schooler should be able to spot?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bringing a love of food and the understanding of family dynamics together in a well-told culinary adventure, the author reveals her true spirit in search of true happiness.Published 10 days ago by bstitch
This felt like reading two different books to me. The first 2/3 of the book is a memoir of Sasha's childhood, which I found fascinating and looked forward to reading every... Read morePublished 1 month ago by LovetoCook
So much raw emotion. Reads easy. Flew through it! I definitely recommend this and want the hard copy to sample some recipes. :)Published 3 months ago by Mattie Benedict
Recommended for all, cooks, non cooks, anyone needing a life lift! I am anxious to share this life story with my friends and familyPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am not sure who recommended this book to me, but I went through it like I was eating something so good I didn't want to ever see the bottom of the bowl! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sonia R. Martinez