Wednesday 11 May 2016

Kitchens Of The Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal

Kitchens of the Great MidwestKitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 351

Publisher - Riverrun Books

Blurb from the back cover

To her father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon.

To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat. She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can figure out. Someday, Eva wil surprise everyone.

One by one, they tell their story; together, they tell Eva's. Joyful, quirky and heartwarming, this is a novel about the family you lose, the friends you make and the chance connections that define a life.

My Review

Eva Thorvald is our main character, either in the immediate telling or round about with other characters and eventually how they link to Eva. We kick off with Eva as a child and her immediate upbringing. Then chapters flip forward to later in her life, the chapters aren't dated so it takes a bit to work out how far ahead we have jumped. The chapters also introduce new characters and the storylines get the reader drawn in and involved only to jump forward to new people, timelines and drama. Whilst the author does a very good job of capturing the readers interest in many new characters, it is a bit frustrating as you want to know what happened to the people you just left behind.

The book has some recipes dottered sparsely throughout the book, from red onion soup to calorific cakes. This is normally something I would skim past but actually, the way food is dealt with and written about within the story, I actually quite enjoyed reading them and may even try one or two myself. There are many issues addressed in the book, from abortion, child abandonment, loss, and love to relationships, death, jealousy and some bad language.

This is not normally a book I would pick up myself, from the title or theme of food, among others, I am really glad RealReaders sent me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. 3/5 for me this time, I would certainly pick this author up again. Whilst I felt a lot was left unanswered and I generally don't like so much jumping between timelines & characters, I still found myself drawn in and engaged in the characters.

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  1. This sounds different both in plot and in structure.

    I am also interested ion almost anything that relates to food :)

    I think that my wife might really be interested in this so I will mention it to her.

  2. This sounds like a fun one and I like it when recipes are included here and there.


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