Book Review: The Glass Kitchen

Posted June 13, 2014 by love2dazzle in Fiction, Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: The Glass KitchenThe Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee
Published by St. Martin's Press on 2014-06-17
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction
Pages: 384
Source: St. Martin's Press
Goodreads
four-stars

With the glass kitchen,Linda Francis Lee has served up a novel that is about the courageit takes to follow your heart and be yourself.A true recipe for life.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. The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.

I really liked “The Glass Kitchen” by Linda Francis Lee. “The Glass Kitchen” very much shadows Shakespeare’s “Tempest.” With these underlying tones I really liked this book. I thought Lee did a fantastic job with it. This coverage is very chic. I like it a lot. The painted mason jars with the flowers gives it a country elegance look. Portia is the main character and she is the youngest of three sisters. Portia inherited a gift referred to as “the knowing” that her grandmother also had. Portia has denied her “gift” of intuitively knowing when and what food to prepare because of the pressure from her two older and her husband. She ended up closing the restaurant after her grandmother died. Then Portia’s unfaithful politician husband left her and she now has a NYC townhouse that was left to her sisters and her by a very much loved aunt. Portia escapes to this townhouse for refugee and with no money at all, so she starts cook for Gabriel and his daughters since their mother/wife has died. Portia and Gabriel are very much attracted to each other and the reader really learns how two completely opposite people can attract each other.

 

Each chapters starts off as a new course to a meal. The first chapter is the appetizer of course and the story goes on to introduce this “gift” to you that Portia has. The reader is able to see how Portia’s “gift” works and how it is passed down through the generations of women. Each of these women have taken the time to put new recipes into a cookbook to pass them down. Portia struggles with trying to look at her “gift” as an actual gift because all she sees is a curse. Lee did a great job of bringing the “magic” into the novel. I think she blended it and explained everything really well. I really liked how Lee included recipes in the book for others to try to make. There are a few that I am looking forward to trying.

 

I think the hardest part of the entire novel was the point of view shift between Portia and Ariel. I wish Lee would have stuck with just Portia and maybe given Ariel her own novel as a companion book. It felt as if two opinions and thoughts were trying to merge together with one book, so I think it could have been much better if it was just kept separately. I also had a hard time with some of Lee’s characters. Portia and Ariel were perfect. The felt real to me as a reader but I had a hard time with Portia’s sisters Olivia and Cordelia because they felt very flat and limp like. Gabriel was also a pretty boring character, so it would have been nice to have a little bit more about him and who he is. Lee did a great job with wrapping up the story. I feel like the novel is complete. It is not very often that you read a book and feel like everyone and everything had closure and I feel as it Lee did this. I am pretty impressed.

four-stars

About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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