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The School of Essential Ingredients: 1 (A School of Essential Ingredients Novel) Paperback – 5 January 2010
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“Delectable writing.”—Seattle Magazine
“Food Network fans will devour this first novel about a whimsical cooking school run by a gentle chef with a fierce passion for food.”—People
“Lyrical and descriptive.”—The Oregonian
“Bauermeister deftly combines romance, lyrical language and a dash of sentimentality.”—St. Petersburg Times
“[A] warm, satisfying exploration of food, cooking and memory…evocative.”—The Star-Ledger (NJ)
“The novel has that...life-is-meals feeling.”—Los Angeles Times
“In this remarkable debut, Bauermeister creates a captivating world where the pleasures and particulars of sophisticated food come to mean much more than simple epicurean indulgence.”—Publishers Weekly
“Exquisitely written...It’s a luscious slice of life...and you will enjoy every bite.”—*New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison
“The perfect recipe for escaping from life’s stresses...luminous prose.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Kate Jacobs
About the Author
- Publisher : Berkley; Reprint edition (5 January 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0425232093
- ISBN-13 : 978-0425232095
- Item Weight : 240 g
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 1.8 x 21.08 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Best Sellers Rank: #155,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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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?