Home Go to Books for Healing
Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss and Greece
by Patricia Volonakis Davis
Reviewed by Bess Coble, ATH Co-Editor of Exercise & Fitness
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” meets “Under the Tuscan Sun” – that’s what another reviewer wrote. Since those are two of my favorite chick flicks, I expected a lot from this book and, thankfully, Patricia Volonakis Davis delivered even more. Harlot’s Sauce is well-written and is an easy, quick read and, best of all, undeniably human. Wherever she is living in the book, New York or Greece, you feel you are actually immersed in the unique nuances of that area. It’s been a long time since I laughed out loud at a book I was reading.
To borrow the overused tag line “there were three people in the marriage”, in Volonakis Davis’s book, what was different was the third person was a whole country. What I appreciated most that sets her memoir apart from the many others, is although not all of her interactions with the Greeks and their country were pleasant - many were downright rude and dishonorable - she has written a beautifully balanced memoir as Volonakis Davis, herself, declares Greece as the heroine of the book. What is so well-written is what is typical in a self-discovery memoir: what started out as a journey to save her marriage instead became a journey to find herself.
Patricia shows us life growing up first-generation, blue-collar, Italian-American and the influence that had on her courtship, marriage and subsequent years with her Greek relatives, to the self-actualization as a successful business woman and mother in modern-day Greece.
By opening her heart to her adopted country, I gained valuable insight into the, surprisingly, out-moded beliefs that still exist today, but I also was privy to the beauty that is uniquely Greek culture. Something I could not get by attending a local US version of a Greek festival.
Yes, there are sad moments, but there’s no over-abundance of drama. She doesn’t sound bitter or spiteful or resentful or pitiful. She opens herself and her heart to her experiences. You want her to be happy and eventually she does discover the secret to her happiness. The only thing I would have wished differently for the book was more of an ending befitting the beginning and middle, an ending showing more of the personal awakening and transformation and self-empowerment of the author as she ends her abusive marriage and starts the next phase of life back in the US. Maybe we’ll get that in a sequel.
Watch an animated trailer for the book:
Have a comment or question? Visit our Books for Healing Forum to start or join a conversation.
About the Author
is the author of the award-winning
Patricia V. Davis . She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the non-partisan Harlot’s Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss and Greece . Her new book, Harlots' Sauce Radio, e-magazine and podcast The Diva Doctrine , will be published in May 2011. Patricia’s essays, opinion articles, political/social satire, and celebrity interviews have appeared in various newspapers and magazines nationally and internationally. Visit her website at . www.PatriciaVDavis.com