Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee

Rating: ★★★★★ stars
Date published: June 17th, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Synopsis: Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan... and never cook again. 

But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream. 

The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.

What I Thought:

Linda Francis Lee has written many books in many different genres and I've read most of them.  I've been eagerly waiting this book.   I was so jealous of all the early reviews I'd seen. When I was approved to read an early copy, you should've seen my smile.  I read this book in under 3.5 hours. I started after midnight thinking I'd read a chapter before going to sleep. I finished close to 4 am and was a mess the next day. 

There are so many elements that make this story great.  I loved the role of family in this book.  Portia and her sisters have an interesting relationship.  They have sisterly love but they're so different from each other.  Gabriel is having his own family issues with his two teenage daughters.  I loved seeing them interact with each other.  I also adore how each section of the book is broken up into courses and meals.  I salivated over much of the food.  I also loved the fantasy element of Portia being connected with food.  It was another element that elevated the story.

Another element that I loved was the range of emotions I felt as I read.  I smiled and laughed at some of their antics and got that knot of despair at other times.  There were tears too, and some cheering as well.  It felt like everything in the book came together seamlessly. I loved being in both Portia and Ariel's heads.   I felt so much for Ariel.  She's in that tough time in her life and she's trying to make things better while trying to figure out where they all went wrong.

If you're like me and you love to read books that take you on an emotional journey, then this book is definitely for you.  Linda Francis Lee has once again written a beautiful story that will stay with you long after you've finished the last page.  All you have to do is start reading the book and you'll see how amazing it is for yourself.

Purchase Links:

About the Author
Linda Francis Lee is a native Texan now calling New York City home. Linda's writing career began when her article "There Is No Finish Line" was published in her university's quarterly magazine. But she got sidetracked from writing when she started teaching probability and statistics. Later she found her way back to writing, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution called her breakout novel, Blue Waltz, "absolutely stunning."

Now Linda is the author of nineteen books that are published in sixteen countries around the world, in languages as diverse as Japanese and Russian. Two of her most recent novels are in development for feature films, and she is in the process of co-developing a television series set in her beloved Texas. 

When Linda isn't writing, she loves to run in Central Park and spend time with her husband, family, and friends.

* A copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

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