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Delicious!: A Novel Hardcover – May 6, 2014
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“[Ruth Reichl’s] New York is a fairy-tale town where beautiful food abounds. . . . The novel presents a whole passel of surprises: a puzzle to solve; a secret room; hidden letters; the legacy of James Beard; and a parallel, equally plucky heroine from the past, who also happens to be a culinary prodigy.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Fascinating characters . . . There’s romance, intrigue, food history, and the fictional appearance of a very real American culinary icon.”—The Austin Chronicle
“Reichl’s vivid descriptions of food will have readers salivating, and an insider’s look at life at a food magazine is fascinating. Her satisfying coming-of-age novel of love and loss vividly demonstrates the power of food to connect people across cultures and generations.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“This savory feast of a first novel blends the rich gifts that readers of Reichl’s memoirs and food writing have come to expect. To a tantalizing coming-of-age story about a budding chef and journalist she adds a bittersweet tale of separated sisters.”—More
Top Customer Reviews
Ruth Reichl’s depiction of the quintessential New York cheese shop includes bits of every food specialty shop worth its salt, and the ‘foodies” captured in the story of the magazine, “Delicious” call to mind dinners at the International Association of Culinary Professional conventions I attended when in the food-writing business. People who love to cook for others are the most generous people on the planet, hands down, and one cannot help but like them – even the grumpy Maggie in the story.
Reichl’s research on World War II is impeccable, and the mistreatment of the Italian Americans in those years and the subsequent paranoia of the McCarthy era are well depicted. This is a book that makes you hungry for knowledge as well as for the delightful foods captured in the story.
Admittedly the year is young, but this book is, hands down, the most enjoyable reading experience I have had this year, and I heartily recommend it. Further, I cannot wait to see more fiction from this very talented writer. And, the icing on the cake is its dedication to Marion Cunningham, one of the true greats of the food world. There are many of us who miss her terribly.
The magazine's offices are housed in an 1830s building called the Timbers Mansion; when alone in the building after the magazine's shut down, out of curiosity she ventures up to the top floor library, which had formerly been off limits. There she discovers a cache of cleverly hidden letters from a young girl in Ohio named Lulu to the famous chef James Beard, written during WWII. The letters, sometimes humorous and sometimes somber, bring the historical period to life in a wonderful way.
Delicious! is stuffed with terrific and memorable characters - my favorites are Sal, proprietor of a local cheese shop where Billie works part-time, and Sammy, one of the magazine's writers. There are also food descriptions so lush that I wanted to put the book down and go in search of something to eat. But this is a book that's hard to put down.Read more ›
I never made it to the predictable romance and ugly duckling to swan makeover, which I saw coming and was confirmed by other reviewers. In the other reviewers' posts, I learned of the "mystery" that was alluded to from the start - the main character's secret. Thinking the book was about the character's fledgling career in the food writing industry but then learning there was going to be a predictable romance as well as a "twist" with the mystery that was hinted at in the first several chapters were probably enough plot lines. But, no, the main character had to also discover a secret room at her office with letters exchanged in the 1940's between food legend James Beard and a twelve year old girl.....after very melodramatic and unrealistic scenarios around the demise of the magazine, no less. At this point, I was annoyed that I'd even wasted time on 100 pages because the writings of the twelve year old girl were so unrealistic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Trite. Formulaic. Unrealistic. Stock characters. Reads like a dime novel --- for a twelve year old. The only hook is the food angle and that wasn't interesing in the least. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Linda
I liked this book more than I thought I would. The story was interesting from the beginning and it has a lovely ending as well. Much more than food! Read morePublished 6 days ago by C. Scharnagl
Love the multiple stories. Great development of characters. Sal was my favorite one. Glad she found a love interest in the end.Published 17 days ago by Larae Stokes
A bit predictable... Would have liked more development of Billie, her Dad and aunt Melba. Sammy ignored her for two months?Published 18 days ago by Daniel Templeton
Food, sisters, loss, and love collide is this lovely story about a young woman who gets stuck after a tragedy occurs in her life. Billy has an amazing palate. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Iggyebab
I have read all the books by Ruth Reichl. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read Delicious! The book flows easily from part to part. Ruth is a wonderful writer. Read morePublished 23 days ago by jeff heller