Our book group recommended read for January 2016: a pretty cupcake on the cover draws your attention. Subtitled “A tale of love, war and cake”.
As I had hosted the book group at our house in November, I was searching frantically for books to recommend for reading over Christmas which would not leave our group struggling to finish, or unable to pick the book up at all. We’ve got some members who struggle with horror and graphic descriptions, and for various reasons we don’t always all finish the book. We’d had success (mostly) with Jessie Burton’s ‘The Miniaturist’ as all but one had finished it and we’d all enjoyed it for various reasons.
The theme behind the novel Delicious! is of the importance of correspondence and the ordinary everyday things undergone by those who are left coping on the home front while others go off to war. The Delicious! of the title is a magazine of the recent past, and the central character, Billie works there as an assistant to the Editor, Jake Newberry. The experiences Billie has and the people she meets in the close-knit gourmet circles of New York City benefit from the author’s experiences as a restaurant critic and magazine editor. Descriptions of food discovered and consumed will certainly have you salivating. But once the magazine is closed down, the discovery of war-time correspondence between one of the writers at the magazine and a young girl who is keen to discover ways of supplementing the rations and privations of the second World War give the twists and mysteries of the book which want to keep you reading.
I found the book immensely enjoyable as an immersive read, the food knowledge and relationships between the likeable characters kept me turning the pages and I hope that it will provide some hours of entertainment for our group over the festive season.
Ruth Reichl – Delicious published 2014 by Random House Group.