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Delicious!’s Back-of-the-book Description:
Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you.
Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.
To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.
I found Delicious! in my local book store a while back. I was having a shopping spree day where I just looked at covers and found ones that appealed to me (yep – I was judging by the covers… but then reading the back and making an informed decision, of course).
Immediately I liked that it was a story about a girl who, not only gets a new job, but also moves to New York City! (I think I secretly have always wanted to move to NYC.) I really resonated with the idea of a young woman looking for a new job and thought it would be fun to read about much cuter, glamorous experience than mine.
You could classify this book as a beach-read for sure – it was light, easy to read, didn’t evoke a whole lot of emotion. Honestly, at times I found it a little corny and shallow. For example the characters are very nice and likeable, but you don’t really get too in-depth with any of them, and there’s no real growth or change for them.
There’s a small romantic element, but just like all books these days *insert eye roll, with the obvious hyperbole* the whole ‘will they, wont they’ dilemma seems a little forced and completely avoidable if they would just talk to each other. However, the romance was definitely not the main element – it was more about Billie and her internal struggles, along with the historical findings.
I did really like the historical aspect – the old mansion she’s working in and the letters that she finds. It’s not a straight up historical fiction but it does have elements of the past and that makes it really interesting.
Apparently this author does mostly nonfiction, so I think it’s admirable that her first fiction was so well done, even if it was a little less than incredible. She had a pretty good economy of words and thus was able to come up with some pretty great quotes for Delicious!
There's some pretty great quotes in this cute, fiction novel! Click To Tweet
Favorite Quotes From Delicious! :
“I am telling you that if things can change for the worse, the opposite is also true. But only if you open yourself to the possibilities.”
“A great meal is an experience that nourishes more than your body.”
“I got back into the car thinking how lucky I was to be aware of happiness. Most people don’t recognize their own good fortune until it has departed.”
“That’s what I like so much about old libraries – they smell the way we’d like to imagine the past.”
I think overall this book gets 3 stars. I wasn’t that impressed with it at the time I was reading it, especially compared to some of the other books I’ve been reading. But I do think of it fondly… It was pretty cute. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a light, easy read or who likes cooking and food related books!
Thanks for reading the review – be sure to Pin these fun quotes on Pinterest!