Delicious by Ruth Reichl
I simply ADORE books about food… memoirs, non fiction, fiction…. and I have read everything that Ruth Reichl has written.. Delicious being her first fiction story I was THRILLED to dive in! Whatever this woman writes… turns into magic. ~Sheila
Billie Breslin is excited when she lands a job at Delicious, the cream of the crop magazine of New York. She is young and feels unqualified to be playing in the big league, but Billie has something that is rare, she has a refined palate that can identify even the toughest of ingredients within a dish. While Billie loves to be a part of the behind the scenes of the magazine, even with much prompting she has no desire to actually cook for reasons she chooses not to say. Then suddenly, while it looks as though all of Billie’s dreams are coming true, the magazine is shut down, leaving long term employees stunned and Billie in shock as her dreams seem to tumble broken to the ground.
When Billie is asked to stay on as the sole employee of Delicious to continue to respond to letters to uphold the Delicious guarantee (if any recipe is not to your satisfaction you will be refunded the cost of your ingredients), she reluctantly agrees as she has no other immediate plans. While exploring the abandoned Delicious library before it goes on the market, she discovers a series of letters hidden in a secret room off the buildings library. These letters dating back to WWII, written by Lucy Swan, an intelligent 12 year old open up a part of Billie that she did not know existed, and may finally help her to release the secret she has held on to tightly for way too long.
As Ruth Reichl’s first fiction book I do admit I was a little cautious. When I first seen the book title I figured she had written another wonderful non fiction read centered around her amazing life of food tastings, restaurants, and more… a fiction story gave me pause, but also… curiosity.
Let me just tell you, no need to pause. PLEASE readers of food memoirs, foodish themed books, and also those who enjoy a good fiction read centered around characters you want to go have dinner with – DO NOT PASS UP ON THIS BOOK.
I listened to this on audio and absolutely fell in love with Julie Whelan’s narration. She brought the characters to life and I so want Sammy to be a real person because I think he and I could talk for hours and hours. I enjoyed this book so much I do not want to give up these amazing people I met within the pages and would absolutely follow them down another path if another book ever just happened to continue on with them. Just saying… ;)
Audiobook listeners – treat yourself to this DELICIOUS book… and those of you who do not do audio, I am confident that this book will read just as engagingly.
Fun note: While in New York for the Book Expo I attended an Audio Book Tea and Ruth Reichl was speaking there (the draw for me). She mentioned that several things in this book actually happened to her – the loss of a magazine job due to the closing of its doors, and some of the amazing descriptions within the book. I wish I could have chatted with her about this as I am SO CURIOUS as to how much is fiction….
Just today while looking for Ruth Reichl’s website I discovered a recent article by The New York Times regarding this book. I have not read it yet as I try to avoid all reviews and articles on books I have plans to review, but as soon as I finish typing this out, I am off to read it. I am sure it is a GLOWING review.
I have added this post to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.