From Publishers Weekly
Afraid she is too old to wait for "The One," successful 38-year-old food writer Tressa Nolan marries the next man who asks her—her building super, amiable, kindly, not-very-educated Dan Mullins. Less than two months into her marriage, she realizes she does not love her husband, and never has. Horrified by his blue-collar habits, his desire to move from their Upper West Side apartment to Yonkers and his combative mother, Eileen, Tressa wishes desperately for the counsel of her late Irish grandmother, Bernadine, who taught her to cook and whose 50-year marriage to grandfather James seemed like the model of the perfect relationship. Along with old-fashioned recipes (e.g., Slow-Roasted Clove Ham and Honey Cake), Bernadine's tale, set in 1930s and '40s Ireland, is interspersed with Tressa's, in 2004 Manhattan. The two stories run parallel, each woman learning that as food too hurriedly made is inferior to its long-cooking counterpart, so the passionate love that immediately strikes the heart may be pale in comparison to the slow-growing, long-lasting love of marriage. A fine point, and nicely illustrated, but the mirror chapters becomes predictable, as whatever happens to one woman is sure to happen, in similar form, to her counterpoint. (May)
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Thirty-eight-year-old food-writer Tressa Nolan marries her building super, Dan Mullins, but after only two months--as she wrestles with his desire to move from Manhattan to Yonkers, with his teeming horde of relatives, and with his daily, lumbering presence--she is horrified to realize that she does not love him. Tressa is haunted by memories of her grandmother Bernadine's seemingly idyllic marriage. Bernadine's story, set in Ireland during the 1930s and '40s, is interspersed as well as old-fashioned recipes for honey cake and rhubarb tart. As Tressa gradually realizes the depth of compromises required in marriage, she gains an appreciation for the kind of love that grows slowly and lasts as opposed to more passionate but temporary liaisons. Beautifully illustrating her points with domestic scenes of confrontation and reconciliation, Prunty proves to be a surprisingly astute observer of marriage in all its complications. Lacking the boisterous humor of Marian Keyes' novels but similarly appealing for its warmth and Irish charm, this would make a fine choice for women's reading groups, where it is sure to provoke lively discussion. Joanne WilkinsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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