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The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship Hardcover – October 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Polhemus Press; First Edition edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982349203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982349205
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,601,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“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.” (People ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I literally had a hard time putting this book down.
Cheryl Koch
The story was just plain silly, the characters unlikeable, shallow, and undeveloped and the ending completely out of Romance Novel 101.
Teresa Jeanne
I am a fan of these types of novels as well as the epistolary style novel of a story told through letters.
Redlady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Robin B. on 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 By Lori Lyn Narlock on 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 By D. Cooper on November 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.
D
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Catherine on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 By Cheryl Stout TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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