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Blue Plate Special: A Novel of Love, Loss, and Food Paperback – Bargain Price, January 24, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031232233X
  • ASIN: B000VYIE8K
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,943,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Food stylist Julia Daniel would love to extricate herself from her dead-end life. She's got an evil boss at her Los Angeles magazine and a wicked stepsister back in Kentucky and, at 33, she's been newly orphaned. Years before she'd left the Bluegrass State to try her luck as a photographer in L.A. (your palette, says one art director, is "at best pedestrian, at worst beggarly"), Julia Daniel watched her mother die of cancer, and she never forgave her father for his speedy remarriage. But now, with her father's sudden death in a plane crash, Julia understands that she's been drowning in sadness for years. As Norris plumbs the depths of Julia's sorrow and charts the lengths she must go to heal, she reveals that Julia's photography career was stymied by depression as much as by big-city competitiveness and that she's sunk so low that killing cockroaches makes her feel "wily and powerful." Norris gives Julia neither jaded interior dialogue nor hipster wit, and while this is appropriate for a book about grief and recovery, the novel's sorrow can feel both familiar and mildly suffocating. A tag line designating this "a novel of love, loss and food" may catch the eye of chick-lit fans, but instead of the genre's traditional yuks, they'll find a thoughtful look at making one's way in a world that's uncertain.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Like many thirtysomethings, Julia Daniel feels trapped in a dead-end job, unsure of what she wants from life and where she belongs. Adding to Julia's problems is the death of her mother and the more recent deaths of her slightly estranged father and stepmother. Much to her Kentucky relatives' collective bafflement, Julia works as a food stylist for a gourmet magazine in Los Angeles. She dreams of being a photographer, but her depression and her obnoxious boss prevent her from seeing a way to make her dreams come true. This charming first novel follows Julia's travels from Kentucky to Los Angeles and back as she attempts to make a life for herself. An overly expository writing style bogs down the first half of the book, but once Julia returns to Los Angeles the pages begin to fly. The book's comic moments, including a hilarious send-up of a movie star's poetry, outshine some of the more typical chick-lit moments. Marta Segal
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
What a wonderful story, full of feeling, wisdom, beauty and hope.
Josephine Gross, Ph.D.
She finds her inner spark by overcoming her pain, loss, and depression and finding love and forgiveness in unusual ways.
E. Woontner
The main character is a food stylist, which is what intrigued my about this book from the beginning.
Honor Bret Harte

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Honor Bret Harte on February 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The main character is a food stylist, which is what intrigued my about this book from the beginning. The world of magazines and food photo shoots is hilariously observed, and the book is a comic wonder because of this inspired choice. But what I hadn't expected were the deeply felt and haunting passages on greif and loss - the main character has suffered a recent tragedy and the story is about her struggle to regain emotional level ground. I loved this first novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Josephine Gross, Ph.D. on April 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Dear Francie:

I just finished your book. What a wonderful story, full of feeling, wisdom, beauty and hope. I really enjoyed the characters, not to mention that you are an incredibly gifted writer style-wise. I lived the whole trip to Sedona as if I was there. And the end is so sexy, yummy, I love it!! All I can say is, keep writing, girl! And like I said, some day we may see the movie "Blue Plate Special", very attractive title to my ears. Thank you for your gift to the world of readers,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lewyn VINE VOICE on March 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The only reason that I got this book was because the author went to my high school - so I have to admit that my expectations were not that high. But I really, really enjoyed this book, for the reasons stated so eloquently by other reviewers. It was gripping though sad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judy Dovers on February 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Frances Norris' talent is in creating characters with such strong voices that they stay with you long after the novel has ended. You'll want to read this book twice- once for its compelling story, and once for its deeply moving and humorous language.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Woontner on February 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved Julia's story. She finds her inner spark by overcoming her pain, loss, and depression and finding love and forgiveness in unusual ways. The characters are well portrayed and do not lack depth, even the obviously obnoxious figures are seen with irony and compassion at the same time. Highly recommended.
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