Mariana Cotromanes

Writer, Blogger, Crunchy Mom

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Book Review: The Glass Kitchen

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 8:00 AM

The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee is a work of contemporary women’s fiction with a touch of magical realism. From the first page I was drawn into the life of Portia Cuthcart and her magical food. I read this book as quickly as I could (with a 4-month-old and a potty training toddler!), not wanting to put it down to go to sleep (even when sleep is a rare treasure in my life right now).

 

 

 

“Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan… and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream.” (from the publisher’s website)

Portia is a layered and life-like character—I sympathized with her struggles, understood her flaws, and wanted to give her a good “talking to” when she wasn’t doing what I thought she should. The supporting characters (especially Gabriel, Portia’s love interest) are also sketched well, coming to life across the page with their quirks.

Also, I enjoyed reading the perspective of (the adorable, and too smart for her own good) Ariel Kane, Gabriel’s twelve-year-old daughter, who played a larger role in the novel than I’d anticipated. Her narrative (which alternated with that of Portia’s for the majority of the book) was a valuable addition to the story, as it brought in a captivating story line and helped the reader realize new dimensions of the characters.

The plot clips at a pace that will reel you in, the food magic is a fun twist, and the tension among the characters is palpable. I highly recommend The Glass Kitchen. It is the perfect summer read to lounge with next to the pool.

(I received an e-book copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Books/Book Reviews

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