A Novel

Book - 2014
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In her bestselling memoirs Ruth Reichl has long illuminated the theme of how food defines us, and never more so than in her dazzling fiction debut about sisters, family ties, and a young woman who must finally let go of guilt and grief to embrace her own true gifts.
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Billie Breslin has travelled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious , the most iconic food magazine in New York and, thus, the world. When the publication is suddenly shut down, the colourful staff, who have become an extended family for Billie, must pick up their lives and move on. Not Billie, though. She is offered a new job: staying behind in the magazine's deserted downtown mansion offices to uphold the "Delicious Guarantee"--a public relations hotline for complaints and recipe inquiries--until further notice. What she doesn't know is that this boring, lonely job will be the portal to a life-changing discovery.
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Delicious! carries the reader to the colourful world of downtown New York restaurateurs and artisanal purveyors. And from the lively food shop in Little Italy where Billie works on weekends to a hidden room in the magazine's library where she discovers the letters of Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, who wrote to the legendary chef James Beard during World War II. Lulu's letters lead Billie to a deeper understanding of history (and the history of food), but most important, Lulu's courage in the face of loss inspires Billie to come to terms with her own issues--the panic attacks that occur every time she even thinks about cooking, the truth about the big sister she adored, and her ability to open her heart to love.
Publisher: New York : Appetite by Random House, c2014
ISBN: 9780449016503
Branch Call Number: REI
Characteristics: 380 p. ;,25 cm


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Jul 14, 2019

A nice piece of fluff. Reichl tried to lace her story of Billie, So Cal transplant to NYC, with some depth and pathos but.... naaah, it was fluff nevertheless. This book belongs to that genre of stereotypical female wish fulfillment porn: all beautiful people, spectacular settings, gorgeous clothes, sophisticated culture, perfect sex, and mind-blowing food. The mysterious James Beard letters plot went on quite a bit too long and felt pretty silly by the end, but an enjoyable read in all. I think Reichl should stick with memoirs, though. 'Tender at the Bone' was far superior to this.

Mar 30, 2019

I love novels based on food! Add an interesting collection of characters to the story, set it in New York City and give it a Cinderella spin and you’ve got me hooked.

Feb 06, 2019

This was not my favorite. It seemed promising with food, a library, and a little bit of romance however it was a bit challenging to get through as I lost interest about half way through the book.

Jan 25, 2019

This book is glorious, each rich lick of descriptive language eminently satisfying, each one of Reichl's kooky cast of characters funny and at once, wistful, the remembrance of by-gone acquaintances, a forgotten era of New York food. Read. Cry. Repeat.

ArapahoeAnnaL Sep 16, 2017

A cozy read with nice culinary and architectural details.

Jun 18, 2017

The most food-centric book I've every read and the story continued to unfold in unexpected ways - like peeling the layers of an onion. Good read.

wendybird Sep 10, 2015

I'm an admitted foodie - over a hundred various herbs & spices cluttering my kitchen shelves, and too many fresh ingredients regularly slowing passing the "Best Before" date as I scramble to involve them all in my culinary plans. I was, therefore, thrilled to discover one of the English language's champion food writers, Ms. Ruth Reichel, was releasing a novel. I'd become addicted to her scrumptious prose in Gourmet magazine, as well as in "Tender at the Bone." The thumbnail plot noted here is a good overview. I will add I was a bit disappointed at how magically everything in Billie's life slid together as the novel opens and she ventures into NYC for the first time, and at the story's end, too - but this seemed a small argument to have with a truly yummy story. And, yes, I've made the gingerbread and it rocks!

Aug 03, 2015

Very readable book with an obvious appreciation for food, flavors and history. However, I think the author tried to mix too many characters into the batter rendering most of them half-baked and not very lifelike.
The rest of the time she spends much of the time tying the many underlying plot lines up with neat, pretty bows and I think that diluted the emotionality, drama and depth of the story.

Summary: Good reading for getting through a plane ride or passing time, but not a reason for a pastime.

Jun 27, 2015

Excellent book. Hard to put down. An interesting story about the interesting foods during World War 11, a mystery to solve, a love interest, and hurts to overcome. Deep characters and such a rich book. I can't wait to read her other novels.

Jun 25, 2015

I found this book very sweet and the characters lovable. The story was interesting enough to the end, but I felt like it lost the focal point of Billie's talent after the first third of the story (which was my sole reason for being interested in the first place).

There were some amateur moments in the book that I imagined ridiculously unrealistic, but overall the book has a nice plot and ending. I also enjoyed the imagery of New York as I had just visited last year.

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Jul 18, 2014

Billie works for "Delicious" magazine. The magazine guarantees all recipes published and Billie helps those with problems. Billie has a perfect palate, but doesn't cook because of a tragedy in her past. You quickly guess part of the problem, but the author doesn't reveal the complete story until near the end. Billie finds a secret room in the magazine's library. She finds letters written to James Beard during World War II, from Lulu a young girl, who is learning to cook. She meets many interesting people including a man she met at the deli. The ending resolves all issues complete with love and finding Lulu.

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