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The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship [Kindle Edition]

Andrea Israel , Nancy Garfinkel
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $1.99
You Save: $14.00 (88%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
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Book Description

“A look at the difficulties of sustaining childhood bonds, it’s also a satisfying meditation on how nourishment for the body can replenish the soul.”


A novel that combines the moving story of a friendship told in letters with more than 80 delicious recipes, The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel (Taking Tea) and Nancy Garfinkel (The Wine Lover’s Guide to Wine Country) is a wonderful literary banquet. A celebration of female bonding and excellent cooking—with scrumptious dishes developed by New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark—The Recipe Club will satisfy readers who previously devoured The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Editorial Reviews


“Told through letters and recipes, this novel traces the pair’s loving, competitive friendship from 1963, when the girls first meet, to the present. A look at the difficulties of sustaining childhood bonds, it’s also a satisfying meditation on how nourishment for the body can replenish the soul.”

From the Back Cover

Loyalty, loss, and the ties that bind: These are the ingredients of The Recipe Club, a "novel cookbook" that combines an authentic story of friendship with more than eighty delicious recipes.

Lifelong friends Lilly and Val are united as much by their differences as by their similarities. In childhood, "LillyPad" and "ValPal" form an exclusive two-person club, writing intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets . . . and recipes—from Lilly's "Lovelorn Lasagna" to Valerie's "Forgiveness Tapenade." The Recipe Club sustains Lilly and Val's bond across the decades: through the challenges of independence, the joys and heartbreaks of first love, and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred—until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.

Product Details

  • File Size: 499 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061992291
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (November 19, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,542 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Very Creative! September 30, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
From the first pages of Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel's new book, The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship, I knew I was in for a treat. Initially told through a series of emails, letters and recipes, we learn about Val and Lilly and the power of friendship and food to enrich and nourish us. They deal with issues of trust, love, anger and resentment between friends - you will definitely recognize yourself and your own friends in these two women. The book will captivate you. Without realizing, I completed it straight through (and had book-marked the first recipe I wanted to try). The book itself is uniquely beautiful - the recipes and illustrations make it a very inviting and warm book. I recommend this book to anyone who relishes a smart and honest book about real relationships.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will make you laugh and cry September 23, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Food and friendship define every woman's life and this book is so well written that I dare any woman to not say to herself, "this could be about me," while reading the first few pages. It is so well-written: cleaver and heartfelt that I just want to sit down at a meal with Val and Lilly. Even the recipes resonate. The icebox cake took me back to being 13-years-old and making it with creme de menthe--I thought it was the height of sophistication. It's a book you'll want to read more than once and then cook from again and again with your best friend.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Read! November 28, 2009
What a surprise! I wasn't expecting much from a book with "Recipe" in the title, but it was great. My wife loved it, and I was stuck on the plane with nothing to read. I assumed that this was a book for women only, but it really grabbed me. I couldn't put the book down and was sorry the flight was over before I could finish. This story really resonated for me in ways that I couldn't have predicted. I was brought back to my childhood, and my two best friends that I had lost touch with. After reading this book I reached out to them and managed to track them down. After almost 25 years of silence we picked up where we left off - we'll be getting together again this summer! Thanks to The Recipe Club I've renewed some great friendships. I think you'll love it too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected May 24, 2010
I really wanted to love this book. The concept of telling the story via letters and recipes was interesting to me and I couldn't wait to read it. Unfortunately, the story shifts from letters to a traditional narrative form toward the end of the book. I found it regrettable that the authors couldn't find a way to fully develop the story via letter method they had chosen. I was also disappointed that at the end of the story everything seems to quickly fall into place and everyone lives "happily ever after" so quickly. Truth be told, the story would have been more compelling if it had ended after the narrative section where the big secret is revealed and reconciliation begins. All in all this is a quick read that is enjoyable but it isn't anything I'd recommend to someone looking for a book that will create a lasting impression.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing epistolary July 24, 2010
I usually like books written in the format (epistolary) of "The Recipe Club", that is emails, letters,pictures, etc. They add variety to a book plus I always feel a little guilty, like I'm reading over someone's shoulder or peeking in their diary. But this book, although it wasn't quite the worst I'd ever read, had some very irritating aspects.
1. The correspondence covered many years - from 1963 to 2003 - and many items just didn't fit. The recipes the girls are sending each other just didn't fit the time period (ingredients not used at the time or recipe much more complicated than a girl of that age would have been attempting). Young girls took Home Ec classes to learn to cook - simple foods. Julia Child HAD published Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 and HAD just started appearing on television but she is not mentioned in this book and the "great cooking revolution" was many years from hitting U.S. households.

Clothes and history details don't always match up - it was like the authors had a general idea of the 60's and 70's and tried to write in detail without doing in-depth research. Some of the most memorable events of that time period aren't mentioned - John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Beatles invasion - both events young girls of that time period would have mentioned. I lived through those years -I know.
2. A lot of plot threads are thrown into the book and then are just left to dangle (I guess I'm saying weak plot development - the careers of both girls, career AND details of Val's husband, early life of Ben or just any of his life other than his love life, more detail on Val's parents, such as WHY was her mother agoraphobic, etc.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in a nutshell October 22, 2009
A Kid's Review
This heartwarming book was so creative and fun to read. It begins as emails going back and forth through two former friends. We can tell there is some tension and you immediately want to know why. The book then flashes backwards to the childhood of these friends, through Pen Pal type letters. The letters dont tell you everything like a book does. You never are privy to what happens between each letter or when the girls are together unless they write about it to each other. With the letters they send each other recipes. Some of them are easy and quick to make and others become more complicated and experimental. You get to grow up with Lilly and Val, experience love, loss and fun. After the misunderstand separates them, the book transforms into a typical fashion, giving the reader a bit more focus into the life of the two women. It then ends full circle with emails. I found this approach so interesting.

If you are anything like me the story will engross you and you will need to clear your schedule to read this book in one sitting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not what I expected, but interesting.
Published 8 days ago by Linda Murphy
2.0 out of 5 stars Trite
I wanted to like it. Instead, I had trouble finishing it and there was no excitement in doing so. Felt like a waste of my time and money. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jeannie L
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
There was no "there" there.
Published 3 months ago by 42 West Main
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather dull
I really enjoy stories told in letter form- Rosie Dunne by Cecilia Ahern and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer were both very entertaining and the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by R.W.
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice summer read (or anytime you want something light)
Nice summer read (or anytime you want something light). The recipes seem a little complicated for the characters in the story sometimes - but easy enough for the standard reader.
Published 7 months ago by Amy G
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Story and Characters, Less Great Writing
(review originally posted at

I was recently in Barnes and Noble. Read more
Published 8 months ago by K. Marie Frances
5.0 out of 5 stars Anything but predictable...
It took some reading for me to get into this story but once I did, I was hooked and loved it. The relationship between the two girls is explored through emails and recipes. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Barbara Whittington
5.0 out of 5 stars The Recipe Club, wonderful cookbook with adventure and complicated...
From the minute I opened the book, I really did not want to put it down. I am only abut a quarter into it but already love the relationship between the two girls. Read more
Published 10 months ago by babalina
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipes with a story
The book is excellent! Can't wait to try some of the recipes & tell the stories behind each one to my family & friends.
Published 12 months ago by Margaret Perez
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
It's a great book all about a person that loves to cook and wants to be happy with friends. This is a good book to read.
Published 13 months ago by Sylvia T.
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