Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review: The School of Essential Ingredients

Author: Erica Bauermeister
Publisher/Format:New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, c2009. 256 pages
Characters: Lillian, Abuelita, assorted students
Subject: food, cooking and life
Setting:Lillian's restaurant
Genre: fiction
Source: Member Giveaway program on LibraryThing

This is a lovely book, an easy read, and one that is sure to be enjoyed by all but the hardest hearted. There are hundreds of reviews written for this one, so I don't need to add to that corpus. Suffice it to say that it brings together an interesting range of people who are at various stages of life -- from a recent high school graduate who has very low self-esteem and a somewhat manipulative boyfriend to an elderly dear on the cusp of dementia, mixed with a couple recovering from an affair, a mother trying to find herself, a widower still grieving for his deceased wife, an immigrant trying to find the food of her childhood, and a young geek who received the enrollment in the class as a gift from his mother.  They come to a cooking class with a variety of expectations.

Lillian the instructor doesn't teach recipes, she helps her students get through life by introducing them to 'the essential ingredients' - both of food and life. It's a quiet, soothing, gentle but stunning book. It's been sitting on my shelf for over a year - I got it through Member Giveaway program on LibraryThing sometime late in 2009. I'm so glad I finally pulled it down from that shelf to read.

1 comment:

  1. Your review is delightful. I would love to read about each of the characters.


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