I only knew that after five years of widowhood, I had a story inside that gnawed at me. And that, if I didn’t commit it to the page, I would suffer another kind of grief..And I wanted to share all that through a prism of food, with the island of Sicily as a central character. Strange as it may sound, I also wanted to write about lentils.

Reese Witherspoon’s book club, Hello Sunshine, has chosen From Scratch: A Memoir of of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by actress Tembi Locke as its May selection along with publishing a personal essay from the author.

The memoir centers around the author’s grief of losing her Sicilian chef husband to cancer while returning to his homeland to feel his roots. She finds comfort at her mother-in-law’s dining table with a family that didn’t accept her at first as an African-American woman living in Los Angeles as an actress. But now as family and raising an adopted daughter, she narrates her journey through heartbreak and restoration.

Locke, according to her Simon & Schuster biography, has appeared in over 40 television shows and films, including NCIS: LAAnimal Kingdom and Dumb and Dumber To. She also delivered a TEDx talk on being a cancer caregiver. She lives in Los Angeles and summers in Sicily with her daughter.