Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Chickpea Lover (Not a Cookbook) (Five Star Expressions) Hardcover – February 1, 2003
100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime
AbeBooks.com, an Amazon Company, recommends a unique list of must-read books. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Peter might dress up like a vegetable, but he's the man-of-her-dreams for popular nursing college professor Liz Adams. Unfortunately, she's still married to David, a cold, ambitious attorney more attached to his cell phone than to her. When Liz finds out she's pregnant, she has to decide between the two men. Lots of humor balances out the more serious themes of this novel, including the sexual harassment of college students and the role of misogyny in academic power struggles. Fans of such books as Fanny Flagg's enduring Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe will also go for this witty and warm vegan title. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
What makes this book so worthwhile is the story around which the romance is wrapped: an academic sexual harassment case. And, unlike the vast majority of books about professors (where sleeping with a nubile young student is presented as an acceptable perq of the profession), this book takes the unusual stand that harassment is wrong.
Although the harassment plot is tied up a bit too easily -- the villians are too easily identified and the victim stronger than any of the professors who want to defend her -- the subject is handled here with sensitivity, perceptiveness, and a true feel for the paranoia of academic life. Rarely have I seen the common professorial feeling of helplessness in the face of administrative demands portrayed so well.
This is not a textbook on harassment, by any means -- I think readers looking for insights into how and why it happens, or the usual outcome, should look elsewhere. However, environment is portrayed so well, and the ending is so dramatically satisfying , that I think even the most cynical will find much to cheer about. A deeply satisying read.
Peter owns a Middle East food stand near the college. Liz is one of his better customers as she enjoys the palate and how Peter and his employees dress up as vegetables. Peter and Liz become friends and soon lovers. She becomes pregnant and asks David for a divorce but he is vindictive man who is trying to destroy her for betraying him. Other problems surface, but with Peter at her side, Liz faces the dinosaurs of her college and the nastiness of her ex spouse with dignity (and a wrongful firing suit) though knowing she will probably lose.
Though at times this engaging contemporary relationship drama slows down to pontificate, readers will enjoy the metamorphosis of Liz from cowardly victim to willing dragon slayer. Liz makes the plot work though the secondary cast adds depth by enabling readers to understand her and easily accept how she changes as adroitly designed by D-L Nelson.
It is one of the charms - as well as the accomplishments - of this first novel by the talented D-L Nelson that the reader participates effortlessly in this voyage of discovery, propelled by a humorous and tight-knit plot and rendered realistic by language that resonates with the protagonist's growing self-awareness.
In a nutshell, the story revolves around the dilemmas faced by Adams, a hyper-organized and successful professor at a Boston nursing college. Living a comfortable well-heeled life as the wife of a corporate jackal, Liz discovers love - and with it the erotic rush of meaning - in the form of a remarkably healthy iconoclast named Peter, who runs a Middle Eastern food stand dressed up, among other things, as a chickpea (hence the title). Various complications arise to make even more difficult the challenge of choosing between lifeless but secure convention and the prospect of a deeper connection. These include an ostensibly unrelated imbroglio involving issues of academic freedom and sexual harassment. The latter sub-plot becomes the dramatic field for a demonstration of what Liz Adams - and with her, the reader - learns about responsibility and the embodiment of self-forged truths.
As with all good literature, Chickpea Lover works on various levels, with the language reinforcing the plot and the very believable characterization of friends and villains alike drawing the reader further toward the book's pragmatic epiphanies. A certain staccato stand-up comedian tone at the beginning subtly mellows into wry perceptive humor as the protagonist becomes more grounded through her own deepening perceptions. Marketed as a true romance, this feminist fable of a woman awakening to her strengths offers much more than one would normally expect from the genre.
Buy it, but be forewarned: you're not going to be able to put it down.
But Liz grows. She grows into herself - her best self, her strong self, her true self. And in the process, she grows in the mind (and sometimes the heart) of the reader. You cheer her on. You want to offer advice. You want the best for her.
From the professional decisions of how best to respond to gender-based bias, to the achingly personal response to love, marriage, love again, pregnancy.....D-L Nelson made me care about the choices and the outcomes of the choices made by Liz Adams. Frankly, I can't think of higher praise for fiction than that.
I care enough to want to check back in with Liz and Peter in another couple of years. High praise indeed!