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The School of Essential Ingredients Hardcover – Import, 22 January 2009
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- Publisher : Putnam Adult; 1st edition (22 January 2009)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399155430
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399155437
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 454 g
- Dimensions : 14.68 x 2.72 x 21.84 cm
Best Sellers Rank:
#1,679,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #140,315 in Contemporary Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top review from India
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"...Margaret's mother raised the cup of milk away from the pot, and Lillian looked at the sauce, an untouched snowfield, its smell the feeling of quiet at the end of an illness, when the world is starting to feel gentle and welcoming again...", and
"The beef bourguignon was bubbling in the oven, the smells of meat and red wine, onions and bay leaf and thyme murmuring like travelers on a late-night train."
There is a theme running through this novel, that of women offering themselves up for family - a noble and rewarding pursuit, but one which leaves them feeling a bit hollowed out (remember the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein?) But another theme, that of slowing down and treasuring, savoring, indulging in, the simple things, works to help heal these people. In fact, after I finished the book, I found that the act of closing up my home for the night seemed a richer experience. I walked through the rooms thinking, "This is my beloved home. I love this room. I love these windows." etc.
The characters are well-developed and relatable, and there is a gratifying warmth between them as they struggle with the normal difficulties of life. There are several places in the book where one character reminds/asks/encourages another to answer the question, "what did you do today that made you happy?" Wouldn't we be better off for asking ourselves this question?
Top reviews from other countries
But I couldn't finish the book, didn't find my interest, too long and too sad.