Spalding bookshop’s pick of the week

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Bookmark in Spalding has selected The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club as its book of the week.

Author Marlena de Blasi has written several books. Her iconic memoir of her time in Venice – A Thousand Days in Venice – has been the go-to book for experiencing The Lagoon City in written form. Now she has moved location and turned her hand, via Tuscany, to the flavour of Umbria and has settled in Orvieto.

This is a bringing together of the lives of four women. Every week on a Thursday evening, they gather in an old stone house in the hills above Orvieto. There, along with their friend Marlena, they cook together, sit down to a beautiful supper, drink their beloved local wines and talk. Each woman brings her individual history to life over the cooking hearth, as together they create rich, succulent and flavoursome dishes to whet the reader’s appetite. As a reader it can be a challenge looking in on this group, absorbing the ambience and imagining the culinary creations that rise from the pages of the book – the desire to join them is so very strong.

Some of the recipes incidentally are given at the back of the book. The book is divided into sizeable portions as each woman elaborates on her individual heritage. Miranda, Ninnucia, Paolina and Gilda immerse themselves in the food preparation as each brings her story to life and the reader is truly an observer of intimate culinary and emotional sharing.

The book retails for £8.99 but there is a 20 per cent discount voucher in the Spalding Guardian of May 12.