— For years, Francesca Campanile was the queen of her home. Standing in her Rhode Island kitchen, making sauce from sun-ripened tomatoes, dropping in basil from her garden, and adding fresh onion, Francesca dispensed advice as liberally as she did the garlic, arguing nonstop wit... more »h her son and two daughters.
It was wonderful.
But now, her children and their children have moved away. And for the widowed Francesca, no longer having a family around to pester, annoy, guide, love, harangue and, of course, cook for, makes her feel useless. Who is she without them? What she needs is another family that needs her, and when she sees Loretta Simmons's ad in the Providence paper for a part-time nanny, she's sure she's found it. All the single mom wants is someone to fill in for a few hours a day. But it's obvious to Francesca that Loretta and her kids need more--a lot more. Loretta's struggling to make ends meet. Every man she brings home is a disaster. And her kids could definitely use some guidance--and a little lasagna, frankly. In these frazzled, disconnected people, Francesca senses a hunger and loneliness as deep as her own. It's time for Francesca to work her magic--if she can--and the best place to start is the kitchen. . .« less