Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
What’s it about?
This novel seemed like a collection of interwoven short stories. Each chapter was from a different time and viewpoint. The book begins with Lars. Lars is a talented chef who loves food, his wife, and his new baby girl Eva. The rest of the novel centers on Eva who is introduced to us as a baby with a "once in a generation palate".
What did it make me think about?
This novel centers on food and relationships. Actually two of my favorite subjects. However this novel was so uneven to me. It had some great sections and some disjointed sections. I did love the last 25% of the book. I just wish the first 3/4 had been as compelling.
Should I read it?
If you love food and the world of celebrity chefs then I would highly recommend this one. Patience will be the key as this book all comes together in the end. The wait was worth it for me. The social commentary about the pretentiousness that surrounds food right now was spot on! If food is not a subject that interests you then skip this one.
"As for Petite Noisette itself, it seemed a little weird. Nothing she'd much care to read regularly. They reviewed restaurants and boutique hotels and seemed intensely concerned about where stuff like the cotton in your hotel towels came from or the chives on a baked potato were grown. They sourced every ingredient of every meal they reviewed and put them all on little maps. Pat assumed they weren't very trusting people."
If you like this try-
Dietland by Sarai Walker
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
Elegies for the Broken Hearted by Christie Hodgen
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!