When Tembi Locke was in her twenties she left a letter in a drawer at a coffee shop that read: “I want to live a life of love and companionship.”
Her heart-expanding memoir and Netflix series, From Scratch, encapsulates its manifestation across three love stories: With her late husband Saro, daughter Zoela, and mother-in-law, Nonna.
From Scratch begins with Tembi landing in Italy for a semester abroad, where she’d soon run into Saro on the streets of Florence. The more I reflected on the book, the more its true gift revealed itself. Their family’s journey navigating life’s great questions — on love and loss, forgiveness and reconciliation — isn’t solely an exploration of the answers. It’s an embodiment of them.
We see it in Tembi’s conviction reconciling Saro and his family, after their marriage separated them. In his mother and sister’s bravery answering their invitation in a traditional culture. Then, in their family’s choice to begin anew, rather than relive the past.
Throughout, we witness Tembi and Saro’s choice to live fully, despite his devastating illness, and how it was his mother’s love that carried her through his loss. Our conversation is an exploration of what matters most and how we may all embrace it.