- File Size: 593 KB
- Print Length: 210 pages
- Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (December 1, 2010)
- Publication Date: December 1, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004EEPK08
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,140 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$10.99|
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Life From Scratch (A Life From Scratch Novel Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Rachel has taken time away from her job to heal herself by learning how to cook and writing a blog. Miraculously, because of her "raw honesty and endearing humor," her online journal attracts thousands of loyal followers -- and after she wins a prize hundreds of thousands. We readers have to take this on trust because the blog excerpts provided, while not objectionable, don't seem especially riveting -- just standard 30-something angst.
As the book proceeds, I was trying to think where I had read or seen it before. It's a lot like Julie & Julia - but without the outsized personality of Julia Childs as portrayed by either herself or Meryl Streep. We also meet a bunch of insubstantial secondary characters -- the loyal best friend, the irresponsible younger brother, the obsessive sister, the cute niece -- etc etc. None of these rises far about the stereotypical.
Rachel tries online dating and after one abortive dinner with another lawyer hooks up with a sleepy-eyed Spaniard with somewhat mixed results. But her experience with him helps her clarify what she really wants from life. The end is actually witty and a bit unexpected -- the best part of the book.
While enjoying this novel, I did feel by the end that I had eaten a somewhat insubstantial meal. While it slipped down pleasantly, there wasn't enough there to really get your teeth into.
Finally, the plot twists in the book are not formulaic. It's not, "Girl meets boy. Girl and boy fall madly in lust. Something happens to drive Girl and boy apart. Something happens to drive them back together again. The live happily ever after." It's more real than that. Yet at the same time, it's still a comfortable read. Speaking as someone who can't handle anything more sad or distressing than a Disney movie many times, that's high praise. I found myself thinking about the book when I wasn't reading it and eager to return to it. In fact, I read well into the night when I should have been sleeping I was so eager to finish.
This book starts out as a deceptively simple read and leaves you with more to chew on than you'd think. Glad there's going to be another.
A good read. I liked the main character a lot, and the characters she surrounded herself with were fleshed out well and seemed like very real people -- like those we encounter every day in our own lives. She was funny and witty and relate-able. All in all, a good little "chick-lit" book that is definitely worth your time to read.
What I had a wee bit of a problem with was just about any woman in New York City in her mid 30s able to take an entire year off of work and not be living on the streets. I would imagine you'd need to have a cash stash of many, many thousands of dollars (and in your early 30s, short of inheritance, who has that?) to be able to do that -- and afford new kitchen appliances/gadgets, groceries and rent to boot!
The protagonist/narrator of the novel isn't accessible or likeable enough to be a renowned blogger. She is too self-absorbed to perceive the trials and triumphs of her loved ones, and the excerpts from her "blog" aren't quite prize-winning blog material. The food she prepares for her blog is representative of the quality of her narration. While Julie Powell is preparing coq au vin for famous food writers in her shabby apartment, Rachel Goldman is scrambling eggs for the first time with a $300 frying pan. Julie's musings are original and tongue-in-cheek whereas Rachel's storytelling is surprisingly dull. Most of the other characters are underdeveloped as well--sexy Spaniard Gael and workaholic ex-husband Adam lack depth and originality. Luckily, Rachel's brother and best friend are far more complex and offer some much-needed maturity to the novel.
Like most easy summer reads, you could see the ending coming from a mile away, though its execution leaves much to be desired. I found myself rolling my eyes at the quick and unbelievable sitcom-style resolution of all the protagonist's problems in the final pages of the book. But since such endings are characteristic of light summer reads, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves an inspirational and predictable story about finding fame, fortune and love after losing everything.
Most recent customer reviews
I look forward to reading the other books in the series,