The Kitchen Daughter Paperback – Dec 20 2011
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""The Kitchen Daughter" is tender, charming and not at all what you expect--which is what makes it a true gem. A beautifully written, boldly thought out tale." --Monica Holloway, author of "Cowboy & Wills"
About the Author
Jael McHenry is a talented and enthusiastic amateur cook who blogs about food and cooking at the SIMMER blog, http://simmerblog.com. She is a monthly pop culture columnist and Editor-in-Chief of Intrepid Media, online at intrepidmedia.com. Her work has appeared in publications such as the North American Review, Indiana Review, and the Graduate Review at American University, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing. She lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
My Thoughts: I came across this book via another book blogger, The Book Maven, on Twitter. From the synopsis on the back cover and the beautiful picture on the cover (I'm a sucker for a great cover) I decided to pick it up. I was also intrigued of the author combining a magical element with Asperger's.
"The Kitchen Daughter" is a very easy read. This is not one of those fast-paced books where the storyline and plot development takes centre stage. The story is more about the characters, their relationships and general family dynamics . The fact that it dealt with food didn't deter me either! I love how cooking and family 'tried and true' recipes are used not just for sustenance but for bonding between the generations. That is so awesome!
This book has a twinge of magic in it which I, of course, enjoyed. I'm not talking about wizards and werewolves and other paranormal fare. It's more of a quirkier, subtle magic. This book has the same magical feel as Sarah Addison Allen's "Garden Spells". I think it creates a lighter feel to a rather serious book.
Going into this book I honestly have to say that I only had a very basic understanding of Asperger's which is only due to the fact that I know two children that are affected by this syndrome. Reading more and more about Ginny's symptoms made me better understand the symptoms that I've seen firsthand (which, admittedly, I didn't realize were symptoms until reading this book). Educating myself about Asperger's is what I loved most about this book. It's an eye-opening, real account of what it's like to live with Asperger's.Read more ›
The house is now crammed full of relatives and friends who have come to the family home to pay their respects to the two sisters who are left alone without parents. Ginny is feeling very uncomfortable and she cannot handle crowds of people, large or small and sneaks away to her safe place - the kitchen.
In the kitchen Ginny can be who she is and feel what she feels when she feels it away from the scrutinizing eyes and words of her sister, Amanda. The kitchen provides for Ginny a safe place, the only space that she is very comfortable with. Along with that come the cooking she does. "The methodical chopping, slicing, and stirring soothe her anxiety and the rich aroma of ribollita, painstakingly recreated from her Italian grandmother's handwritten recipe, calms her senses."
Ginny is in the kitchen drowning out the sounds and chatter of the guests in the other room. Ginny pulls her grandmother's recipe for "ribollita" from its place and begins preparations to make the soup. She has the garlic and onions simmering, and she's gathering the cans of tomatoes, beans, and rice among other things. Finally everything is in the pot and smells simply divine. As Ginny opens the silverware drawer to extract a spoon, she notices her.Read more ›
First, I'd like to mention that this is as far from my regular type of reading as it gets. I don't *do* women's fiction; no matter what the topic I stay very, very far away from it. But when I was introduced to this book I saw the protagonist was Asperger's and I didn't really pay attention to anything else. I just wanted to read it.
I loved this book with a passion. I read it in an evening, staying up to 3:30 am in the morning to finish it; I just couldn't put it down. Ginny Selvaggio was my kindred spirit. The first chapter really introduces her to the reader focusing a lot on her quirks, foibles and what goes on in her mind. I found a lot of myself there in that first chapter, that I knew I was going along for the ride with her. Ginny has Asperger's but has never been officially diagnosed, she doesn't even know herself, which I found odd throughout most of the story seeing as her father was a doctor, well a surgeon technically, but this works itself out by the end. She has unfortunately been overprotected by her parents, her mother virtually taking care of her, leaving the house with her but at the same that same mother does manage to have a wealth of coping strategies for Ginny, insisting she go to school and also insisting she learn the niceties of social discourse. Ginny is now in her early 30s and living at home with her parents, really incapable of dealing with the day-to-day of the outside world as she's never been given a chance.
Then tragedy strikes (this is all in the first chapter, btw) and her parents are killed in a tragic accident leaving Ginny to her own defences.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A recipe card with scrawled ingredients and instructions. Each chapter starts this way, using food to frame the story and characters. Read morePublished on June 6 2013 by Cee Ess