Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry

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.

The Kitchen Daughter blew me away.  After reading the first thirty pages, I was hooked and didn't come up for air.  I did have to take a break while reading it even though I didn't want to.  It's amazing how a book can make it's way into your heart and you almost feel like it's a friend, not a book.  That's how I feel about The Kitchen Daughter.  I recommend this book to everyone.

April 12, 2011
288 pages

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free.

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