Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Kitchen Daughter Review and Giveaway

From Goodreads:  After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.

My Take:  This is actually my favorite kind of book.  It's about something relevant but also about something else much more relevant.  It reminds me of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake which is about a girl who feels what people feel when they cook the food.  But it's really not.  It's about coping skills or it's a little story about growing up...

This book is about Ginny who is 26 years old and has a personality.  At least that's what she's always been told.  Secretly, Ginny has never been officially diagnosed with Aspberger's Syndrome.  She has self-soothed by hiding in closets and sticking her hands into her parents' shoes or cooking.  She also self-soothes by cooking or imagining chemical changes while she cooks.  

One day she needs to feel comfort and whips up a dish by her Nonna.  Imagine her surprise when Nonna appears to her in the kitchen and talks to her.  Scares the dickens out of her.  This turns out to be a theme for her.  When a recipe is hand written, she can conjure a person up with the cooking and the smell.  They stay until the smell fades.  She learns from talking to them but also is forced to interact with the world about her.  Her trusted housekeeper begins as the artery to the outside world and slowly Ginny discovers what she can and can't do.  The introduction of David, the housekeeper's grief engulfed son is an interesting storyline.  

The book is a story about grief and some of the different grieving styles.  So very, very interesting.


Dolly said...

Grieving myself (a spouse, not a parent), and being a fan of 'cooking' books, I look forward to reading this book. Thank you for the review.

j. barrett said...

definitely a book on my list of ones to read.

Lisa said...

I admit to being stupid at times, but I can't use your form to enter. I can't find the down bar. Thanks lisapeters at yahoo dot com

Kristine said...

I love everything about this book! As a chef and a mother who lost her daughter I know how the act of beginning to cook again can be solace while you're buried in grief. I look forward to reading this although I know some of it may be painful.

Brenda said...

This book sounds like a great read!
I would absolutely love to be included in the drawing for it.

I'm a follower.

dancealert at aol dot com

Joan said...

I am a foodie, so anything to read and talk of food too is a thumbs up.