Coffee to read

The destiny of a city and the one of a woman, the incapability of the first one to shape its own fate with head held high and the courage of the second one to search for her own life; weakness and pride, male and female, Arabica and Robusta: opposite polarities accompanying the novel and getting established around the fascinating story of modern invention of the blend, the art of mixing coffee of different origins, in order to get a pleasant drink. Devoted to her land, Giuseppina Torregrossa praises its beauty, does not resign herself to its meanness and gives us a new unforgettable protagonist: proud, never taken for granted, very close to our feeling.

La miscela segreta di casa Olivares  (The secret blend of the Olivares family)

 by Giuseppina Torregrossa

In the centre of Palermo, under the apartment where the Olivares family lives, the heart of a flaming dragon lives: its name is Orlando, a machine that roasts and grinds coffee coming from every part of the world filling the small shop with intense scents. Genziana, the nicest flower of the Olivares family, grows up in the coffee shop with the certainty that the future doesn’t reserve surprises, since her mother – sensual orchestrator of the lives of the whole family – can foresee it by reading coffee grounds. However, when Genziana gets ready for her bloom of adolescence, the war bursts into it, bringing sorrow and starvation. The big dragon is compelled to stop, Palermo is reduced to a heap of ruins and Genziana remains alone. A small item coming from the continent will give her some sign of hope: the mocha pot, which offers a coffee without grounds to interpret, as quick and strong as the future coming in a hurry in that beautiful and dangerous city for a lonely and proud girl.

The author

Born in Palermo and mother of three children, Giuseppina Torregrossa lives between Sicily and Rome. Her first novel L’assaggiatrice (The taster) was published in 2007. Then, she published Adele (2012), and Il conto delle minne (Counting the tits) (2009), Manna e miele, ferro e fuoco (Manna and honey, iron and fire) (2011) and Panza e prisenza (2012) for Mondadori.