Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Renee at It’s Book Talk. Throwback Thursday was designed as an opportunity to share old favorites as well as older books in our TBR. As I started reviewing on Goodreads long before I started my blog, it seemed a great way of sharing my earlier reviews (which I hope have improved since the early days).
So this week I’m revisiting Delicious by Ruth Reichl – first reviewed in December 2014.
Dear Mr Beard,
I sent my Magic Moments off yesterday, and that made me think of you.
I hope the cookies will remind Father of our life here. Or maybe I should say what life used to be, before the war changed everything . . .
Hidden in the library of Delicious! magazine young intern Billie discovers the wartime letters of twelve-year-old Lulu Swan, written to distinguished food writer, James Beard. Lulu’s can-do spirit in the face of food shortages and other hardships help Billie come to terms with her own tragic past. Until one day it occurs to her: Lulu Swan might still be alive…
Having never heard of Ruth Reichl before I read this book, I am now aware that she is a well-respected food writer, restaurant critic and non fiction author. This appears to be her first foray into fiction and it clearly draws on her extensive food knowledge. Well judging it purely as a work of fiction with no preconceived ideas – I loved it.
The main character is Billie Breslin, who leaves her family to move to New York for what turns out to be a short-lived career as assistant editor with Delicious a well-respected food magazine. Her job brings her into contact with the Greenwich Village food community who take her into their hearts. When the magazine folds she is retained purely to answer letters relating to the magazines long-held guarantee of every recipe a success or you get a refund. Being in the building on her own, she stumbles on a hidden library and discovers a series of letters between a previous Chef employed by the magazine and a 12-year-old girl during World War 2. The search for the letters become more urgent when the historic building is put on the market.
During the time Billie is involved in the search to find all these letters she is also building friendships and relationships that help her to come to terms with her past and form the basis of her future.
My love was in no small part down to fact that it dealt with some of my personal interests, food, libraries, history and architecture. Throw in the fact that I visited New York for the first time last year and I was totally smitten. It is a perfect book for curling up with as you let the characters and story envelop you. It’s light funny, warm and comforting – highly recommended.
I received a free copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review