Food writer Claudia Lombardo has sampled exquisite dishes by the world's greatest chefs. But when she hears about the remarkable desserts that are created in a pastry shop operated out of a convent in the sleepy Italian hillside town of Santa Lucia del Mela, she wants to write a book featuring the sweets and the story behind their creator--Sorella Agata. But the convent's most famous dessert--a Cassata cake--is what really intrigues Claudia.
Everyone who samples the cake agrees it is like none other they've tasted. Yet no one can figure out what makes the Cassata so incredibly delicious. Though Sorella Agata insists there is no secret ingredient, Claudia is determined to learn the truth behind the mysterious cake. As she samples each delectable treat--marzipan fruit, rich cream puffs, and decadent cakes--Sorella Agata relates the pastry shop's history and tells of the young woman, Rosalia, who inspired her.
Kidnapped and separated from her family, Rosalia is subjected to a terrible ordeal--until the nuns find her. As she heals, she learns the art of pastry making, and soon she even finds love with Antonio--an apprentice in the pastry shop. But her heart still aches for the family she lost. And Rosalia knows she will not be whole again until she is reunited with them.
As Claudia unravels the secret of the Cassata cake, she discovers a deeper, fascinating story--one that affirms food can do more than nourish the body…it can stir memories, heal the deepest heartaches, and even act as a bridge to those we love, no matter how far apart.