- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Berkley (December 3, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425265498
- ISBN-13: 978-0425265499
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 98 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Out to Lunch Paperback – December 3, 2013
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Wealthy Chicagoan Jenna, 42, loses all sense of identity when Aimee, her best friend and former business partner, dies. Aimee also left an unusual codicil in her will, appointing Jenna to oversee her husband, now widower, Wayne’s finances for one year. Wayne has few social skills and no financial sense, and Jenna frequently argues with Aimee in her mind as Wayne smashes things at events, buys her a huge dog, and invites her to comic-book-store parties. Jenna’s smooth lawyer boyfriend loses patience, but Jenna begins to realize Wayne’s many good points are actually good for her, too, and they find their way through grief together. Food references and recipes round out this unique and satisfying story which slowly gains momentum like a carefully cooked meal. Foodie fiction fans and Kate Jacobs’ readers will enjoy this. --Amy Alessio
Praise for OUT TO LUNCH
"Ballis delves again into foodie women’s lit with flavorful results. Some of the story's pleasure derives from the sheer Pinterest-quality abundance of goods—cookies, cashmere and Chicago restaurants abound. A recipe index is offered for aspiring chefs. But Ballis has real things to say about relationships and grief, and at its best, this book is honest and touching. A cozy meal, with dessert."—Kirkus Reviews
"A unique and satisfying story which slowly gains momentum like a carefully cooked meal."—Booklist
“Heartfelt and hilarious….A deeply satisfying look at food, friendships and the families you create for yourself when you need them most.”—Jen Lancaster, author of The Tao of Martha and Here I go Again
"A sparkling, heartwarming novel with all the elements of a can't-put-it-down read—a heroine you'll root for, unexpected plot twists, and dangerously good descriptions of food!"—Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Best of Us
"A funny and heartfelt tale of friendship, food, and how difficult it can be to open yourself up to love, you’ll want to devour Out to Lunch in one delicious bite. This is Stacey Ballis at her witty and chef-tastic best."—Amy Hatvany, author of Heart Like Mine and Best Kept Secret
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The female characters in this book are strong and self sufficient who are generally seeking or have found partners who complement them. They're also okay having a little casual fun until they meet a good companion without every date having to be considered "the one" simply because it's a man. They're also unwilling to put up with bad behavior because they don't want to lose a man. They're forgiving, as needed, but they have breaking points and meltdowns I can relate to; they're not b*tches or doormats and I like it. It's nice to have found a book I actually look forward to reading. The story is well-written albeit a bit predictable at times, but I can forgive that since I actually like the characters. I'm looking forward to reading more from Stacey.
When her best friend and business partner dies, Jenna discovers that Aimee left some rather unique instructions in her will regarding the financial care of her husband, Wayne. Jenna now has custody of him. There's just one small problem- Jenna can't STAND the man! She never understood what her best friend saw in this geeky, klutzy, picky eater. As Jenna does her best to honor her friend's wishes, she receives guidance from Aimee, who speaks in her head with her usual snarky and sassy commentary. Every mishap and disaster Wayne creates pushes Jenna one step closer to insanity. Of course, she's got her employees/friends, her dainty dog, a therapist, and a new man in her life to keep her from going completely postal. That is until Wayne and his son, Noah, gift Jenna with a giant puppy who wreaks havoc in her careful life.
Wayne and the puppy are a lot a like. Adorable, sweet, and one hell of a mess! Will Jenna give them both the boot? Will she come to grips with her other half- her best friend? Will she open herself up to loss and love?
This witty, well written novel will make you think and make you laugh, and is the perfect blend of serious and sass! Definitely 5 stars!