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The Love Goddess' Cooking School Paperback – October 26, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439107238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439107232
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Senate handles the hefty topics of loss and remembrances with lightness and respect and in so doing, redefines comfort food."

--Publishers Weekly

"Tender, charming, and seasoned with a pinch of old-world magic, The Love Goddess's Cooking School is a warmly rendered story off loss and starting over." --Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

"The real magic here is Melissa Senate's writing, which laps rhythmically against your heart like gentle waves along the coast." --Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs and Seven Year Switch

About the Author

Melissa Senate is the author of ten novels, including the bestselling See Jane Date, which was made into an ABC Family TV movie.  She's published short pieces in Everything I've Always Wanted to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, It's a Wonderful Lie, Flirting with Pride and Prejudice, and American Girls About Town.  A former editor of romance and young adult fiction, she now writes full time on the coast of Maine.

More About the Author

I'm the author of 10 novels, including my debut, SEE JANE DATE, which was made into a TV movie, and my latest, THE LOVE GODDESS' COOKING SCHOOL. My other novels are: The Solomon Sisters Wise Up; Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?; The Breakup Club; Theodora Twist (for teens); Love You To Death; Questions To Ask Before Marrying; The Secret of Joy; and The Mosts (YA).

Short stories can be found in American Girls About Town and Flirting With Pride and Prejudice: Fresh Perspectives On The Original Chick Lit Masterpiece. Essays in: It's A Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths About Life In Your Twenties and Everything I Needed To Know About Being A Girl I Learned from Judy Blume.

I'm a former book editor (romance and teen fiction) from New York City and now live on the beautiful coast of Maine, where I write full-time. Please come visit my website at for more information.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Beth Hoffman on October 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Melissa Senate's latest is a delightful story of a brokenhearted young woman's longing to find her place in the world. Though Holly Maquire has suffered several crushing losses, she's determined to change her life. Believing she can learn the secrets of her grandmother's recipes and therefore preserve her legacy of magical Italian cooking, Holly sets off on a new venture that she's ill prepared to handle. But with dogged determination and a few new friends, Holly grows and learns and ultimately surprises herself.

Sprinkled with a bit of old-world superstition, The Love Goddess' Cooking School is a charming novel that explores the mess we all can create in our lives and in our kitchens.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Megan VINE VOICE on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
A word of caution for those picking up Melissa Senate's new novel, THE LOVE GODDESS' COOKING SCHOOL: don't read on an empty stomach. I've issued this caution before, I know, but trust me this one time, friends. Since beginning this warm and engaging novel, I've been dreaming of tiramisu, spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, lasagna and ricotta cheese. As someone who feels she must have been Italian in another life (pasta, I love pasta!), the odd stains scarring the pages of my copy may or may not be drool. The prose was just . . . scrumptious. And Senate describes Holly's creations so well, you'll want to throw this one down and make dinner every time you finish a chapter.

What I love about this work, Senate's latest in a long line of great books, is her ability to create likable, friendly and interesting characters who captivate you right from the start. Like the men entranced by the exotic, lovely Camilla Constantina, an Italian immigrant who arrived in America with her young husband and was widowed in the U.S., I was immediately drawn into Holly's world and felt like I was reading the story of a dear friend. Have I read the running-away-to-find-yourself plots before? Yes, of course. But in Senate's hands, a familiar story takes on new nuances.

Holly is a bumbling, uncomfortable woman when first we meet her -- aching from loss and grief, both in the form of her relationship with John and her grandmother's unexpected passing; lost as to what to do with her life. Having spent most of her adult years following men from city to city, she has no career or aspirations. She has no calling. And Camilla, when she was living, could tell her little about her future . . . aside from the premonition about sa cordula. She needs guidance.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. Howell on October 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been reading so much YA lately (which I love) that I've forgotten how much I love a really good chick-lit book. Thanks to Melissa Senate for reminding me.

The basic plot was the same as in most chick-lit books. Girl gets heartbroken but gets over the guy, grows stronger, and finds a new love. But I loved the characters in this one. Especially Liam and Mia.

Liam seems like such a great guy. He's a great dad (which is so hot), is a gentleman, and romantic! It doesn't seem like there are guys like that out there any more. And Mia was such a fun twelve year old. Sometimes tweens can seem annoying but Mia seemed more mature for her age. A great kid!

And I loved all the cooking in the book. I am not a good cook. But I wish I was! I liked the recipes at the end and I copied one down that didn't seem to hard so I could attempt to cook it later. I look forward to seeing what Melissa Senate writes next!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rachael A. Warrington on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love reading books about cooking and relationships. But first they must be accurate. Not perfect, but please do some research. I am amazed and some of the books I read and the info is just plain wrong. Gnocchi is not stuffed, Osco Buco takes an hour and 1/2 to bake or longer and ravioli dose not jump out of a pot of boiling water, it is too heavy. All of these were info in the book that did not match reality.
Also if you are in love with a man and want to marry him, then it falls apart, it seems to me it would take more than 6 weeks to fall for another guy. This made the character, who I wanted to like, seem shallow. Also parts of the story seem to be thrown in as after thoughts. I know I am being hard on the author, but I spent too much on this book for it to be so non-involved.
This could have been a really good book with a great story, only it turned out be be a so-so book for a quick read and a quick forget.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Holly VINE VOICE on October 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
So many books that are filled with multiple women bonding over some hobby are cliched, predictable and shallow. This one isn't. It is, quite simply, delightful. I love Holly. (She has such a great name!) When she takes her broken heart back to Maine, her grandmother welcomes her home. Just as she is becoming comfortable, her grandmother passes away and she's left to find herself on her own. Armed with her grandmother's recipe book, kitchen and diaries, Holly leaps headlong into a new life.

Camilla's essential ingredients were wishes and memories and it's when Holly begins choosing which wishes and memories to add to her recipes, that she discovers what she wants out of life.

The narration evokes familiarity. I think most people have memories which involve food and the preparation of food. So much of Holly's story takes place in the kitchen: her grandmother's kitchen and then hers. My family isn't Italian (we're Scotch/English), but we love cooking and I have many fond memories of cooking with my mother and grandmother. Most of the significant discussions of my youth happened in the kitchen while my mom and I were cooking.

There is one unnecessary instance of the F word, and some pre-marital sex, but without all the details, thank goodness!

With quirky characters and a charming heroine, this is a delicious story of friendship, love and discovery.
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