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Turning Tables Paperback – March 24, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Discovery; Reprint edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385338554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385338554
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,129,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Penned by twins who've paid their dues in the restaurant biz, this whip-smart debut chronicles a brief slice of the life of Erin Edwards, a marketing manager who loses her job and cashes in family favors to snag a wait-staff position at Roulette, a top-flight New York City restaurant. Erin, devoid of waitressing experience, has a disastrous first day and comes under the scrutiny of Steve, the restaurant's grouchy owner, and chef Carl, who's as charming as he is terrifying. Luckily for Erin, seasoned waiter Cato Poole offers to mentor her. With Cato's help and friendship, Erin learns the ropes. Though Steve and Carl make it clear that they've got their eye on her, Erin manages to canoodle with a co-worker and a powerful television producer customer. This page-turner reads like recent restaurant-linked memoirs, with accounts of unrealistic expectations, slippery tactics, critic- and rival-driven anxieties and general kitchen mayhem. Chick lit standards like gossipy scenes with the best friend are mercifully short, and though the novel ends on a cheesy note, the rest of the ride is tons of fun, especially for those who've done time in the service industry. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Turning Tables is tons of fun! Heather and Rose MacDowell’s twin voices blend seamlessly to create a delectable fusion of humor, heart, hope and keen observation—peppered liberally with some great waitress horror stories.” –Claire Cook, author of Life's a Beach and Must Love Dogs

"Turning Tables is like a top chef's tasting menu, offering one delight after another with plenty of delicious surprises along the way."—Claire LaZebnik, author of Knitting Under the Influence and Same as it Never Was

"Heather and Rose MacDowell's debut novel, Turning Tables, is a hilarious read which rings true. It's the perfect book for anyone who's ever been forced to take orders..." —Leanne Shear and Tracey Toomey, authors of The Perfect Manhattan and Cocktail Therapy

“A spirited debut…. The setting sparkles.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This page-turner ... is tons of fun, especially for those who've done time in the service industry.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Turning Tables is full of factual insights for curious foodies.”—Sacramento Bee

“A hilarious read that rings true. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s ever been forced to take orders.” —Leanne Shear and Tracey Toomey, authors of Lipstick Therapy

“Entertaining . . . ought to be required reading for restaurant reviewers and lousy tippers.” —Boston Globe

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 31 customer reviews
It a fun read and funny characters.
Bookfaced
I have bemoaning the demise of chick lit lately - but after reading this book, I can say that publishers can still put out some good chick lit once in awhile.
Tina
It was fun to get an inside glimpse of what the kitchen in one of the top restaurants in a bustling city would be like.
N. Riley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tina on March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
For some reason, when I picked up this book I thought it a Memoir - even though the word NOVEL appears right on the cover! Once that got cleared up, I could enjoy the book.

I have bemoaning the demise of chick lit lately - but after reading this book, I can say that publishers can still put out some good chick lit once in awhile.

The story of a Marketing Exec who ends up waitressing at a higher end restaurant is absolutely delightful. The storyline is engaging, the characters are fun (for the most part) and surprisingly, the storyline is more about the girl getting the job instead of the girl running after the prince. Of course, as in good chick lit, there is a healthy dose of romance, but fortunately, the romance is not corny or too out there.

The writing style is fun and I really, really liked this book. Hopefully a sequel will be in the making.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cleo on March 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky to get an advance copy of this book, which is a terrific behind-the-scenes view of high-end restaurants. The characters are real and engaging. Biting humor, social satire, and a fun story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Decker III on August 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
From the first page I was hooked. It's very well written. It's funny, embarrassing, and realistic. I work in a pretty classy restaurant and everything rings true to life. Cato is my Tony, Ron is my Michael, and Alain is my Brad. If you have worked is a restaurant the you should read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ellis Bell VINE VOICE on May 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In Turning Tables Erin Edwards, 28, gets a job waitressing, after being let go from her high-profile marketing job. With no experience under her belt, she's immediately thrust into the fray at Roulette, one of the most upscale restaurants in New York. Along the way, she begins dating Phil, a sous chef at the restaurant, but finds herself attracted to Daniel, a TV producer and restaurant customer. It's an interesting look at the inside of a restaurant as told from the point of view of a member of the waitstaff.

As with all books in the chick lit genre, there are good and bad things about this novel. It's a fast-paced, easy read, with some interesting characters. Having never worked as a waiter, I don't know how true-to-life this book is, but it made me not want to ever be a waiter myself! Even being a receptionist looks good in comparison. However, I thought the Erin-Daniel relationship was a little too far-fetched. Parts of the plot were extremely predictable. I thought the authors could have fleshed out a little more the reason for why Erin left her marketing job (there's a reason, but it gets lost in the rest of the story). And its a juicy reason for leaving, so I wanted to learn more! I also thought the ending was corny as a cornfield. But in all, this was an enjoyable look at what it's like to be a "penguin."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Islandlass on July 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have a confession: I did not purchase this book at first. Yes, I am one of those people who treats stores like Borders and Barnes and Noble as a library. I meander around, pick up two or three books that pique my interest, and then proceed to skim through said books at the store; if I like it, I hide it in a spot where I will find it the next visit, if I love it, I purchase it. The majority of my purchases in life are proceeded by asking myself this question, "if I do not purchase this, will I honestly miss it a week from now and wish that I had?" If the answer is no (which, I have found 90% of the time it is) then I save myself the cost, if the answer is yes . . . well you get the gist.

This book fell into the "I can live without it" pile, but day after day I found myself thinking about the storyline presented in the first few pages that I had read and couldn't keep my mind from wandering back. So, I returned to said bookstore, purchased it (after reading the first five chapters, just to be sure . . .yes, I am that cheap) and have been content ever since.

I relate well to this story; before my professional life I worked in restaurants for ten years, everywhere from steakhouses to the five star restaurants of The Hamptons. It was at one of these five-star Hamptons' joints that I began my love affair with this book; I felt as though my life was being printed on paper and that I was the one writing it. The novel is thoroughly enjoyable, witty, and refreshing whether you are a restaurant person or not!

Hats off to the authors, a job well done ladies! (When will your next book be coming out?)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mom in California on August 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up because of all the great reviews, and I was not disappointed. Erin, the main character, gets a job in a high end Manhattan restaurant to make ends meet after loosing her marketing job. I enjoyed it from page one. There wasn't a lot of boring "setting the stage" before the story got started. It started right off on her first night as a trainee. It was made more believable when the waiter that was to train her figured out quickly that she did not have the experience her family friend (who got her the job) implied. It would have been too far fetched to believe that somebody with no experience could have waited tables at a high end restaurant without getting found out and fired. The trainer decided he liked her and covered for her, putting her on a crash course in high-end restaurant waitressing.

I love books where the main character grows during the book, and learns more about themselves. This was one of those books. I really liked how Erin grew as a person as the story progressed. And there were plenty of funny parts, a nice romance plot, and a number of situations where Erin gets the upper hand over the annoying owner and chef at the restaurant. I liked how believable the book was. I hate when authors lean towards slap-stick to make their books funny. This was funny without ever becoming slap-stuck or unbelievable.

My biggest disappointment was when I got to the end, and then found out that the authors haven't written any other books - waaahhh!
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