Thursday, November 12, 2009
The Recipe Club
Lilly and Val are lifelong friends, united as much by their differences as by their similarities. Lilly, dramatic and confident, lives in the shadow of her beautiful, wayward mother and craves the attention of her distant, disapproving father. Val, shy and idealistic -- and surprisingly ambitious -- struggles with her desire to break free from her demanding housebound mother and a father whose dreams never seem to come true.
In childhood, "LillyPad" and "Valpal" vow to form an exclusive two-person club. Throughout the decades they write intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets -- and recipes, from Lilly's "Lovelorn Lasagna" to Valerie's "Forgiveness Tapenade." Readers can cook along as the girls travel through time, facing the challenges of independence; the joys and heartbreaks of first love; and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred.
But no matter what different paths they take or what misunderstandings threaten to break them apart, Lilly and Val always find their way back together through their Recipe Club . . . until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.
Now, decades later, while trying to recapture the trust they've lost, Lilly and Val reunite once more -- only to uncover a shocking secret. Will it destroy their friendship, or bring them ever closer?
My Review: I was not overly excited by this book once I started reading. I figured out the shocking secret very early on so there was little to which to look forward. When the author finally disclosed the secret, it was like ho-hum, I knew that already and there wasn't enough excitement leading up to the discovery.
I enjoyed the recipes and especially like that there is an index to them in the back of the book. I found what I think is a glaring writing and editorial oversight. On page 92, Val says "We had Or'Derves (French for appetizers) at my cousin Steven's Bar Mitzvah. My favorite was the Pigs in Blankets, which you can make with Bisquick." Then on the corresponding recipe page there is a picture of a pig and the recipe calls for cocktail franks (but never says all-beef Kosher franks). I asked friends who are Jewish and they have never seen or heard of Pigs in Blankets being served at a Jewish occasion.
Thank you to FSB Associates for providing me with the opportunity to read and review The Recipe Club.