The Kitchen Daughter

The Kitchen Daughter
by Jael McHenry
2011 / Kindle / 306 pages
Rating –  8.5 (mainly because it was fun)

Well I’m not sure what I was expecting but this wasn’t it.  I only read this because a reading group was reading it and I didn’t even think I’d bother.  But then I thought,  Oh well,  so download the sample and see how it goes…   Wow –  I was hooked and before I’d finished the sample I downloaded the whole thing.

The book opens with a recipe for something called “bread soup.”  Okay fine – I knew there would be recipes in the book.  Then we’re introduced to the 1st person protagonist,  Ginny (?), and her sister Amanda who are burying their recently and suddenly deceased parents.  Within a couple pages the reader understands that this woman is rather peculiar  and knows it.  She goes upstairs to hide in the closet,  away from the post-funeral visitors.    Amanda kind of protects her but can’t do too much.

After they’re gone and Ginny is alone in the house she cooks –  Amanda is married and lives elsewhere but Ginny has lived with her parents her whole life.  Big changes are in store for this very likable girl/woman.

She loves to cook so now she’s cooking seriously comfort foods but when she cooks her Nonna’s ribolitta the ghost of Nonna appears.  –  And that’s just the start.  Can Ginny live alone?  Her sister Amanda really doesn’t think so.  Who is this David person entering Ginny’s life?  Ginny has some battles ahead.

I really enjoyed this book –  I like Ginny and how the other characters interact with her,  I like the ghosts,  I like the recipes.   The style is fine for the book – it’s not great lit but it works.  Yup –  The Kitchen Daughter goes on the shelf with Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and other books which are gentle and smart at the same time – the ones which make me smile.

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