Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel: Book Review PLUS a CONTEST

The Recipe Club
by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel
Harper Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780061992292

Description: Loyalty, loss, and the ties that bind. These are the ingredients of The Recipe Club, a "novel cookbook" that combines an authentic story of friendship with more than 80 delicious recipes. Lilly and Val are lifelong friends, united as much by their differences as by their similarities. Lilly, dramatic and confident, lives in the shadow of her beautiful, wayward mother and craves the attention of her distant, disapproving father. Val, shy and idealistic—and surprisingly ambitious— struggles with her desire to break free from her demanding housebound mother and a father whose dreams never seem to come true.

In childhood, "LillyPad" and "ValPal" form an exclusive two-person club, writing intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets—and recipes, from Lilly's "Lovelorn Lasagna" to Valerie's "Forgiveness Tapenade." Readers can cook along as the friends travel through time facing the challenges of independence, the joys and heartbreaks of first love, and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred. The Recipe Club sustains Lilly and Val's bond through the decades, regardless of what different paths they take or what misunderstandings threaten to break them apart . . . until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.

Now, years later, while trying to recapture the trust they've lost, Lilly and Val reunite once more—only to uncover a shocking secret. Will it destroy their friendship, or bring them ever closer?

The Good Stuff

  • Very satisyfing and realistic ending
  • Love the recipe index at the end, really appeals to my anal librarian ways
  • The main characters are so realistic that you are sure you know one of them
  • Plot is wonderful and very true to life.  We have all been in a similar situation with friends, so you can understand the emotions
  • Love the little illustrations and how the format of the recipes change as the main characters age. Gives it a very authentic touch
  • The recipes are simple and easy to make and I will be doing a post with Jake on one of the recipes. I'm thinking of making that a regular meme. Literary Meals with Mom and Jake
  • The titles of the recipes are adorable and really fit in with the story
  • Full of hope and forgiveness and of letting go of negativity

The Not so Good Stuff

  • The parents of the main characters are so imperfect that I cannot understand how anyone could love them.  But than again they are family and you have to love your family, no matter how imperfect they are
  • Really, Really disliked the parents!!!!
  • More of a good thing than bad, but dammit I have responsibilities, the storyline was so wonderful that I didn't want to put the book down. 
Favorite Quotes/Passages

" Look, I know I'm high-strung and a bit of a diva, but there's something I need to get off my 36 DD chest - the one you've always wished you had."

"Sometimes people we love can't love us in ways that we wish to be loved.  Not because we aren't worthy of love, but for other reasons, beyond our control."

"When we're arguing with each other nothing in my life feels right."

"It made me realize I've never really had a mom. I've had someone who wanted to be my friend. But she's not even that."

What I Learned

  • Some great recipes that I am now dying to try
  • That I really enjoy books written in letter form 
  • That Forgiveness is attainable and worthwhile
Who should/shouldn't read
  • Pretty much everyone will enjoy this one
  • Anyone who has ever had a fight with a close friend
  • Great book for a crisp cool fall night or sitting on the dock by the water (Recommend having a  nice Merlot at the same time)
4 Dewey's

I received this book from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.  No bribes were given or money  exchanged.  Which is such a shame since I really would like to have no debt and the cash to buy me an Ipad (Shiny!)

Literary Tasty Treat Tuesdays


I loved this one so much I contacted my contact at HarperCollins and asked if I could giveaway a copy. So here is the deal.  I like to keep things simple so all I ask is that you be a follower and tell me why you would really like this book.  Contest ends September 28th and open to US and Canada.


  1. Your review sold me! I would really like to read this book so please pick me.

  2. This looks like a really cool book! I love trying out new recipes (much to my husband's chagrin).

    autumn. crochet (at) gmail. com

  3. I would love to read this one. Friendship and recipes, how can you beat it. You gave it a great review and now I'm very interested in reading the book.

    I am a follower on GFC.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  4. A recipe index? Cool! This sounds like it is going to be a really good read and you obviously liked it! I'm a follower. :D


  5. Just realized this contest is over, I will pick a winner today and post and email you -- sorry