Thursday, April 14, 2011
The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry ~ review
Synopsis from Goodreads:
After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.
A haunted kitchen isn't Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn't sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn't know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.
My take on this book:
Ginny Selvaggio is a twenty-six year old woman, who has lived a very sheltered life with her mom and dad, and when her parents die unexpectedly while on vacation, Ginny's world will never be the same. As Ginny's story unfolds the reader quickly learns that Ginny has a problem, while she says that she is socially awkward its obvious that it is really more than that. The one place where she finds solace is in the kitchen cooking, but when visitors who are long dead start appearing in the kitchen, after a bit of trial and error Ginny learns how to draw them in, by cooking the dead peoples recipes. There are a few family secrets that Ginny needs answers to, and the only way to get those answers is to talk to the dead!
I love a good story with a paranormal twist and this one certainly had it. .The concept of the dead being enticed into a kitchen with the scent of one of their recipes being cooked really hooked me. The character of Ginny was so easy to like, her mother really sheltered her, but ironically Ginny was closer to her father.It was easy to understand why she wanted to stay in her family home, even when Amanda, her younger sister was insisting that they sell. I felt like Ginny was a very strong character and it was nice to see her flourish and become self sufficient.
While the mystery and the paranormal flavor of the book was what initially drew me in, the relationship between the sisters, and Ginny learning to stand on her own really held my attention. An added bonus was learning so much about Asperger's, something I really knew very little about.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.