the next good book

Kitchens Of The Great Midwest

By J. Ryan Stradal


310 pages

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 didlovethe 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. Quote- “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.”

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