Sunday, June 28, 2009

The School of Essential Ingredients


Lillian has loved cooking since she was a young girl. As she put it, "she thought smells were for her what the printed words were for others, something alive that grew and changed. She also knew that many people did not comprehend the language of the smells that she did."

She became one of the lucky few who were able to follow their passion and not only cook for others to enjoy but to teach others to see, smell, touch, and taste what different foods had to offer.

Ms. Bauermeister serves us up a cast of characters that are different as night and day and yet they come together to learn to cook from Lillian. Well maybe that isn't exactly right. They come together in a cooking class but we soon learn that they are each receiving something different or more than just cooking lessons from Lillian. Some are searching for love lost, while others are trying to lose the feelings of love, and still others are adjusting to the changes that aging brings about.

Early on in the story, the one thing that stood out for me was how much I was able to get into the characters. It was more than just reminiscent of two other wonderful books that are high on my list of all time favorites to read and re-read. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, and Light Years by James Salter. The characters were complex, with deep emotions. You would want to have these people in your life.

For anyone who likes to cook or enjoys the art of eating, or both, this is a wonderful to book to savor. You will be left wanting more when it over.

1 comment:

  1. Donura...this has been on my TBR list for quite a while...I'm going to have to bump it up higher. Thanks for the great review.