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Girl Cook: A Novel Hardcover – June 24, 2003


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1 edition (June 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400060427
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400060429
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,219,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First-time novelist McCouch adds an intriguing element to an otherwise typical contemporary romance plot: she takes readers inside the New York restaurant scene, where men rule the kitchen and a female sous-chef is seen as a glorified hostess. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, 28-year-old Layla Mitchner dreams of becoming a chef, but has to settle for working garde-manger-in layman's terms, tossing salads. When her chauvinistic boss, Noel, refuses to let her move up the restaurant ladder, Layla quits her job and takes a hard look at her life outside of the kitchen-she can barely pay her bills, has major problems with her quasi-famous actress mother and hasn't been on a date in months. She allows herself to be fixed up with Dick Davenport, an upstanding guy whom she quickly dismisses because he wears loafers with tassels. She then falls for sexually adventurous Frank (his black work boots pass muster). At first Layla believes she's in heaven, but an excess of quality time with Frank during a weekend away finds her reconsidering: "What I say I want is true love, just like every other human being on the planet. I want men on their knees holding little blue Tiffany's boxes. So why am I here in this two-bit motel getting handcuffed by Frank?" A number of chance run-ins with Dick remind her of his virtues, while a bit of r‚sum‚-doctoring promises that her career might revive as well. The ending is a bit abrupt, but this light and witty fare will leave chick-lit fans sated.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"McCouch's four-star narrator, line-cook Layla Mitchner, not only brings home the bacon and fries it up in a pan, she also slices the inflated male ego down to size with her laugh-out-loud, dead-honest commentary on Manhattan's dog-eat-dog dating world." -Caitlin Macy, author of The Fundamentals of Play

"Girl Cook is a highly entertaining, honest read. Hannah McCouch blends equal parts humor and sass to serve up a voyeristic, behind-the-scenes look at the male-saturated world of professional cooks and chefs, proving once and for all women do belong in the (professional) kitchen." -Jill A. Davis, author of Girls' Poker Night

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Customer Reviews

Hannah: if you read this - I'm hoping for a sequel!
Lyn
I basically read it all through just so I can say I read it all through and not have it lie about doing so.
Nikkie
The plot is predictable, but is entertaining enough to keep you reading.
Allie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is full of many laughs and many unbelieveable situations! It shows that men still feel they dominate the world and woman are still struggling to break through the glass ceiling. This book is also enjoyable for anyone who loves being in the kitchen.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on July 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Treat your taste buds to this delightful book from first time author Hannah McCouch. Enter the kitchens of New York restaurants with Layla Mitchner, a Cordon Bleu graduate who is desperate to move from salads up to finer cooking. The degree of chauvinism she encounters is frightening in modern times, and readers will be rooting for Layla as they enjoy the scrumptious descriptions of food throughout the book.
Layla has relationship problems as well, with bad dates after almost humorously bad dates with a decidedly Mr. Wrong. Mr. Right is in the picture, but Layla will see it long after readers do.
GIRL COOK is refreshing. Fans of the young woman/diary/relationship genre will literally eat this up, but it has an edge not always seen in those titles. In addition to the fun setting of kitchens and cookery, Layla is passionate about her work and not obsessed with men. She is more interested in making this career work than waiting by the phone. But readers looking for romance will not be disappointed.
McCouch has a gift for creating a believable cast and setting. This book will leave readers hungering for more of her work.
--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is not altogether unpleasant, but the narrator lacked the redeeming qualities necessary to hold my sympathy for an entire novel. The book also seemed to take more than a few ideas from Helen Fielding's "Bridget Jones' Diary," but Helen Fielding does it much, much better.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I forced myself to finish this book though I found the voice of the protagonist annoying and the writing surprisingly callow in places (the author has an MFA!?). There are certainly better books in this genre to choose from.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book years ago and recently reread it. I liked it equally as much the second time around. Having spent time in the restaurant industry, i appreciate the real-world insider view of what it's like to be a girl cook. appreciate the book for what it is ... a good read for anyone interested in the restaurant industry or with a dream of being a Girl Cook.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased this book while I was in culinary school. It is witty, fun, and quite a bit of it is true to life. I enjoyed it very much and passed it around to all my fellow "girl cooks". It is so true that you apply for a job as a woman and end up making salads for 2 years. Until you work for a bada** female chef who throws you on the broiler station and makes you prove yourself!
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By Allie on March 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book won't disappoint you as long as you have realistic expectations. The themes aren't new- twentysomething girl trying to find love in the big city and struggling for success in a man's world- but it's a good little piece of fluff, nonetheless.
'Girl Cook' is a quick read, and the humor is sharp and witty. The plot is predictable, but is entertaining enough to keep you reading. If you enjoyed 'Loose Lips' by Claire Berlinski or the Bridget Jones' Diary books, then this will probably be a good book for you.
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By Andrea Hoover on August 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I found more reality in this book than most other people, it appears. I am currently a student at Le Cordon Bleu. This is the reason I bought the book. I feel very much like Layla. Unsure of myself at times, trying to play it cool, wanting a job in the restaurant industry. Certainly it was odd how Layla continuously ran into Dick Davenport and practically began a relationship with him before they even had a first date. The book does end abrubptly but it leaves readers with a smile (or scowl); the future for Layla can be as happily-ever-after as readers decide.
Women can relate to Layla, at least I did. I may have bought the book because of the fact that the author, main character, and myself have all attended Le Cordon Bleu, but I read it because Layla is a real woman I can indentify with - her ability to continue soldiering on gave me motivation to do the same. Hannah McCouch wrote this book in a manner in which it's entirely believable. She may not be an A-list author, but I'm not sure that matters. A lot of A-list authors aren't there because they write well but rather because they're marketed to be best-sellers.
The book is too short and Layla can make you feel fat - she's 5'7" and 140 lbs., a perfectly respectable weight and yet she thinks she's a hippo. I got past those two dislikes easily enough; this is a book I won't be selling on Amazon marketplace.
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