If I could write myself into a book, Delicious by Ruth Reichl would be it. Being in love with the creation of beautiful and tasty food, it would be a dream to work in the test kitchen of “Delicious,” a food magazine in New York City. Then combine that with publishing stories about food… this would just send me straight to heaven.
I would recommend this for any foodie who enjoys a little sleuthing mystery and some self-discovery.
It was wonderful to read the author’s Q&A in the back of the book to gain insight on how much of this fictional story was based on her real-life experience at Gourmet. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much based on her experience working for the famed Gourmet Food Magazine, but parts of the story were formed in connection to Reichl’s past and her special interests. We get to peek into her childhood from the main setting taking place in Greenwich Village, where she loved to explore around in Little Italy. Reichl also shares that she has a personal collection of cookbooks from the WWII era, as she has always been drawn to this moment in time when, “…because of rationing, …we all ate at the same table, ate the same food.” This personal interest is expressed in my favorite part of the story, the letters from Lulu Swan to James Beard during the time of WWII. The best part of this story is that these letters were found in a secret room of the forbidden library, at Delicious. I think this alone would make you want to read this book. Photo by Kei Scampa on Pexels.com
Reichl’s novel is filled with interesting characters and side stories that all get interwoven leading to Billie Breslin’s (the protagonist) ultimate healing from her past trauma. All the characters, maybe one too many, were so fun to read about, from the deli crew that practically adopted Billie into their family, to the work mentor, Sammy, who pushed Billie along with encouragement, and the surprising boyfriend twist that was thrown in for a little spice. Overall, this was a light-hearted read, with a few somber notes that remind us that we are human. I would recommend this for any foodie who enjoys a little sleuthing mystery and some self-discovery. This would be a great book club read, as well, since it does come with a Book Club Party Kit with menu ideas, recipes, and discussion questions!
Don’t forget to try the Famous Gingerbread Cake recipe! Photo by micheile.com || visual stories on Pexels.com