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I loved this sequel to The School of Essential Ingredients. It was so good to catch up with what was happening with some of the characters and to meet new characters. I wish I could find the book on celebrating traditions described in the book. It would be an interesting read and fun to try some of the celebrations. I would recommend reading The School of Essential Ingredients first just to know the background of the characters. Erica Bauemeister is a very gifted writer and I plan to look for more books by her.
This is a beautiful book! A lovely story with intersecting plot lines, written in lush, lyrical language. The descriptions of food and cooking are sensitive and sensual, much like listening to Nigella Lawson. This book tempts in many ways, not just to cook and eat but to devour in story in one sitting. Restrain yourself and savor the stories, the characters, and the settings.
I read this book without knowing that it is a sequel of sorts to The School of Essential Ingredients. It was a beautiful stand alone read.I was introduced to Lillian, the owner/chef of a local bistro and the interesting cast of characters that surround her.Each of these people have their own stories to tell both linked and separate from Louise. The writing was beautifully lyrical as each individual's story unfolded and wove independent of and then interlaced with that of Louise.As is the case with all humans, some were funny, some poignant, some downright aggravating, but all endeared themselves to this reader. And in the background was the food,always lovingly and thoughtfully prepared with love and intention. I look forward to reading The School of Essential Ingredients and visiting Louise again.
I'm thrilled to have discovered Erica Bauermeister. This is the second in a series of two. The first is The School of Essential Ingredients. Both books feature multiple characters, and Bauermeister does a great job of telling the story of each, and weaving the individual stories together. The setting is contemporary, the stories all involve personal growth and people learning to lean on, and trust, each other. The author has a gift for description, and for feeling deeply the range of human emotion. Her writing is among the most beautiful I've read, and I'll happily go see what else she has written.
Just the right number of characters, sprinkled with enough plausible twists and turns in their lives, that together with a surprise ending makes this book an addition to my growing list of recommendations to inquiring friends!
If you are looking for a sequel to "Essential Ingredients" you have and have not found it. While some of the same characters do appear in both books, this book stands alone quite well. What I really like about this author is, that her characters have great depth. She writes with compassion and understanding. Like most of us, her characters are not perfect people and she shows their individual struggles and challenges with great warmth. You will care about her people, laugh, cry and root for them and in the end feel, like you have a group of new friends. There is a definite feel of "belonging" to her books. I deliberately have chosen not to be descriptive of plot or individual characters, because I think you will enjoy the journey more without preconceived expectations. If you are looking for a book written with grace, style warmth and humor you have found it. I can't wait to see what Erica comes up with next.
I don’t even cook and I loved this book. The writing was beautiful and the characters were so well drawn. It feels like short stories that are easy to read and come back to later, but they all tie together.
I read this book, then read the other books by Erica -- all at non-stop speed. It's been a long time since I've read writing like this. Tight, flawlessly flowing from one wonderful character to another. I have recommended this book to over 10 people and they, in turn, are passing on the word. The author seems to have a light, but powerful touch when it comes to translating words into pictures for all of us to "see." I felt I made new friends in her books. The storylines are unique and memorable, but for me, it is her exquisite writing that is the 5-Star here.