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The Mother-in-Law Cure (Originally published as Only in Naples): Learning to Live and Eat in an Italian Family

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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...
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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.

Praise for The Mother-in-Law Cure

“In a world filled with food memoirs, this one stands out. Katherine Wilson gives us more than the fabulous food of Naples. She offers us a passport to an exotic country we would never be able to enter on our own.”—Ruth Reichl, author of My Kitchen Year

“Warmhearted . . . an exuberant account of love and great Italian food.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Sweet and humorous.”Publishers Weekly

“Wilson has written a glorious memoir celebrating the holy trinity of Italian life: love, food, and family. Her keen eye and sense of humor take you through the winding streets of Naples at a clip, on a ride you hope will never end.”—Adriana Trigiani, author of The Shoemaker’s Wife

“How lucky we are to get these hilarious and wise perceptions filtered through a sincerely loving eye.”—Julie Klam, author of Friendkeeping

“This thoroughly enjoyable love letter to Naples is a tribute to the author’s irrepressible mother-in-law.”—Luisa Weiss, author of My Berlin Kitchen and founder of The Wednesday Chef

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