Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Kitchen Daughter Review
Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
Genre: Adult Fiction
Source: Shelf Awareness win
An Asperger's-afflicted woman finds the keys to life and her family history in the kitchen after her parents die in McHenry's inspired if uneven debut. Ginny Selvaggio has lived a sheltered life: unable to maintain eye contact, make friends, or finish college due to her undiagnosed condition, the 26-year-old lives in her parents' home, surfing the Internet and perfecting recipes. But after her parents die, Ginny and her sister, Amanda, disagree about what to do with the family home—Amanda wants to sell, Ginny doesn't. As they bicker about what to do with the house and the problems caused by Ginny's awkwardness, Ginny comforts herself by cooking and soon learns that the dishes she prepares can conjure spirits. The ghosts, including her grandmother, leave clues about possible family secrets, as do a box of photographs Ginny discovers tucked away. McHenry's idea of writing an Asperger's narrator works well for the most part, but the supernatural touches undermine her admirable efforts and add a silly element to what is otherwise an intelligent and moving account of an intriguing heroine's belated battle to find herself.
I loved this book. If you like books with a magical quality to them and you like to cook then I highly recommend this book. Ginny discovers that she can bring ghost to her kitchen by cooking a recipe of theirs.
The writing is excellent and the story is magical. Each chapter has a recipe in it that Ginny uses and it explains the process she uses to create the dish just right to bring the person she wishes to talk to.
Here is one of my favorite scenes in the book:
The first feeling is shock, but then another feeling crashes over it like a wave, blots it out. All my nerves are singing and all my wires are crossed. I am tasting and feeling but nothing that I am tasting or feeling is here. His kisses are honey. His tongue is like a ripe slice of mango, firm and slippery, irresistibly smooth. It’s hard to breathe. A soft, spreading warmth descends from my neck down my body to my toes, spreading out like milk in coffee, rolling in curls and waves and currents.
This was a wonderful, quick, fun read and I highly recommend it. If you like The Peach Keeper and Like Water for Chocolate then you’ll love this one.