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The Recipe Box Paperback – July 2, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In Food Network personality Lee’s literary debut, Grace Holm-D’Angelo struggles to juggle her role as a single mother to a rebellious teenage daughter, Emma, and her career as a stylist for a popular television show. After her best friend succumbs to breast cancer, Grace returns to her Wisconsin hometown, where she must confront the demons of her past in order to mend her relationship with her own mother, and rediscovers her passion for cooking. Meanwhile, Grace hesitantly begins dating for the first time since her divorce. Lee’s writing is more tell than show and heavy-handed with moral messages, but her straightforward style and humorous dialogue allow the plot to move along at a pleasantly zippy pace. Emma’s transformation from partying class-skipper to straitlaced, A+ student happens far too easily, but interactions between her and Grace feel genuine. Lee’s original recipes, scattered throughout, enhance the narrative and allow the reader to form a visceral connection to this foodcentric narrative. Undoubtedly, Lee’s well-established fan base will flock to this novel. --Emily Roth

About the Author

Sandra Lee is an Emmy-nominated and internationally-acclaimed expert in all things kitchen and home. She has predicted and changed the trajectory of American lifestyle with her signature "smart and simple" philosophy. She is the host of Food Network's Sandra's Money Saving Meals, and Semi-Homemade Cooking, a veteran program on the network in its' fifteenth season, as well as the host of HGTV's Sandra Lee Celebrates, a series of holiday primetime specials.

Sandra has launched several lines of home, garden, and craft products and produced a successful DIY home improvement series. Her new home products line, entitled Sandra by Sandra Lee, launched at Sears and Kmart in Spring 2012. With a commitment to service and charity, Sandra works with numerous philanthropic organizations including UNICEF, Share Our Strength and Feeding America . Since 2002, Sandra has written 23 cookbooks and a memoir Made From Scratch, which all together have sold over four million copies.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401310834
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401310837
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This was a very easy read.
Nicole Beltz
Too bad, I might of liked the story otherwise.
Montessahall
Sandra did a great job for a first book.
Charlotte Rapillo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Fortysomething Grace Holm-D'Angelo is newly divorced and trying desperately to corral her teenage daughter, Emma, while attempting to carve out a life for themselves in Los Angeles following their departure from Chicago. After dealing with her ex-husband's indiscretions, Grace is doing her best to restart her life on the west coast. Thanks to Ken, also a transplant to L.A. and one of her best friends from high school back in New London, Wisconsin, she has landed an exciting but high-pressure job behind the scenes of a vampire TV show, "The Lost Ones."

Despite the hectic pace, Grace is engaged in her work and trying to make a go of it. But when Emma starts acting out and getting into trouble, Grace wonders if she needs to focus more of her attention on her daughter. Before she has time to figure out just how to do that, she is summoned back to Wisconsin after her other close friend, Leeza, succumbs to breast cancer.

Once back in New London, Grace feels torn as she tries to help her friend's family, reeling from the death of Leeza, as well as keep Emma in check. But maybe the problem isn't Emma. Perhaps it's a case of history repeating itself. After all, Grace hasn't set the best example of how to be an ideal daughter. Her own relationship with her mother, Lorraine, has been long fraught with tension and resentment. Noticing Grace's issues with Emma, Lorraine remarks: "She reminds me of me. And of you. We're alike, whether we like it or not, Grace, and whether or not you want to admit it to yourself. We're mother, daughter, and granddaughter. We're strong women, all of us. Sometimes that gets us into trouble."

Once a formidable baker in her teens, Grace hasn't properly cooked or baked anything in years.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Corgimom on July 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was delighted to find that Sandra Lee is much more than just a cookbook author. Her story is rich with characters I wanted to know and the depth of storyline kept me turning pages to know where Grace and Emma were headed. Was emotional disaster just around the corner, or would they find themselves in a life fulfilled? Find the secrets held by a generation past, in the recipe box...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan in Gallatin on April 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From the very beginning this was a story that drew you in and kept you turning pages. It is a very pleasurable book with interesting and warm characters. I loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shelleyrae TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Sandra Lee is an American chef, the host of several television shows, and the author of over two dozen bestselling cookbooks. The Recipe Box is her debut fiction novel celebrating mothers, daughters, and friendship, featuring several of Sandra Lee’s recipes.

Grace D’Angelo is trying to create a new life for her self and her daughter in L.A. after her divorce, but between fourteen year old Emma’s rebellious behaviour, long working days and regular trips back to her hometown to support her best friend, Leeza, who is battling breast cancer, she is struggling to keep it together. When Leeza unexpectedly succumbs to her illness, Grace reconsiders her priorities and decides to spend the summer in New London where she is forced to confront her past and rethink her future.

The plot unfolds in a rather predictable manner as Grace works on rebuilding her relationship with her daughter and her mother, from whom she has been estranged for a number of years. Grace’s main obstacle to happiness involves her discovery of a family secret as a teenager, and her inability to move beyond it. Her return to New London challenges her long held grudge against her mother, and forces her to consider the secret she is keeping from her own daughter.

Of course there is romance for Grace too, with hunky firefighter/handyman/teacher, Mike, though the spectre of an old flame, Von and her ex husband muddy the waters. Grace is wary of beginning a new relationship and of letting down her guard but Mike is a good guy, and persistent, so you can expect a happy ending.

I enjoyed the less traditional romance between Ken and bookstore owner, Tim. In several ways Ken’s journey mirrors Grace’s as he is also estranged from his family and fled New London as soon as he was able.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William R. Smith on August 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book touched upon everyday social & family issues. The true meaning of family and recipes to tie different generations together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nanakay on July 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a story of going home, of restored relationships and of new beginnings. I enjoyed the book but I wish it have developed the story line a bit more. It seemed a bit superficial in places.... But all in all an easy summer read. And the recipes are an added bonus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kay on July 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a very enjoyable, heartwarming book that I really enjoyed. I hope Sandra decides to write more! Love the recipes too!
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By Louise Jolly on August 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Story Description:

Hyperion|July , 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-4013-1083-7

From New York Times bestselling author Sandra Lee comes her debut novel, a heartwarming story about food, family, and forgiveness.

Grace Holm-D'Angelo is at her wit's end, trying to create a new life from broken pieces. Newly divorced, she is navigating suddenly becoming a single mother to her fourteen-year-old daughter. Emma, resentful about being uprooted from Chicago to LA and still reeling from the divorce, is generally giving her mother a hard time.

Then Grace's best friend, Leeza succumbs to breast cancer after a long battle, and Grace realizes that you don't get a second chance at life. She returns to her hometown of New London, Wisconsin, to try to reconcile with her own mother, Lorraine, with whom she's been estranged for longer than she cares to remember.

Over the course of the summer, Grace rediscovers the healing powers of cooking, coming to terms with your past, and friendship, and learns you can go home again, and sometimes that's exactly where you belong.

The Recipe Box celebrates mothers, daughters, and friendships, and also features Sandra's delicious original recipes.

My Review:

Grace Holm-D'Angelo is divorced and getting used to being a single Mom to her fourteen-year-old daughter, Emma. Grace and Emma live in Los Angeles although Grace originally hails from New London, Wisconsin. Grace worked on a television show called "The Lost Ones."

Poor Grace was absolutely exhausted. Since last fall she had been running through airports flying from Los Angeles to Wisconsin and back. Her very best friend since high school, Leeza, was fighting aggressive, stage three breast cancer.
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