Advance reader reviews of The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry.

The Kitchen Daughter

A Novel

By Jael McHenry

The Kitchen Daughter
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2011,
    288 pages.

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There are currently 46 member reviews
for The Kitchen Daughter
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  • Christine E. (Royal Oak, MI)


    A good book for Foodies
    I do not consider myself a "Foodie", one who is consumed with thoughts of food, so at first I was not enjoying the book. But the more I read the more I enjoyed it. The main character, Ginny, is a Foodie, It is a manifestation of her Asperger's Syndrome. The book is full of recipes and cooking. Has I got further into the book the storyline became more about family friendships, and the notion about what is normal. So by the time the book was finished I wished that it was longer.
  • Linda M. (Three Oaks, MI)


    The Kitchen Daughter
    I truly enjoyed reading this book. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. I was absolutely fascinated with Ginny. I loved the way she described food with such passion and admired her dogged persistence in trying to uncover the family secrets through wholly unorthodox methods. The story was about her journey into self discovery which is difficult enough for most of us let alone someone with Asperger’s syndrome. This one will stay with me a long time.
  • Ann-Marie, Librarian, Oregon


    Great fiction pick for foodies
    This was great! It was a very enjoyable mix of family, food, and magical realism fiction, with a very appealing narrator. I'd recommend it to book clubs, people who enjoy fiction featuring cooking and food, and fans of Alice Hoffman or Sarah Addison Allen. Ginny is a very shy young woman with Aspergers, though she doesn't know it. She copes with stimulation overload by cooking or imagining cooking, with all its evocative tastes and smells and textures. Recipes are included. She is an excellent chef, though not formally schooled. She and her sister Amanda have just lost their parents in an accident. Amanda, who lives with her husband and small kids, wants to sell the house, while Ginny doesn't want any changes. Ginny finds that her cooking can draw up family members' ghosts, who seem to be warning her about something. What she learns about her family history, her personal growth, and the sisters' relationship is the crux of the novel's plot. The book comes out in April 2011; I read an advance reader's copy courtesy of Bookbrowse.
  • Sheryl R. (DeQuincy, LA)


    Interesting, but . . . .
    This book, about an adult woman with Asperger's syndrome tries to answer the question, "Just what IS "normal" ? From reading the summary on the website, I expected the story to compel me. While I enjoyed the story and the themes, it was never a "can't put it down" kind of book for me. Well-written and insightful though it was, in the end, it seemed predictable, unfinished, and, well, . . "normal"!
  • Ann W. (new york, NY)


    What is normal?
    Normal is a small town in Illinois. However, that is the question that perplexes Ginny. It seems to be slow in the beginning but gradually I became engaged in Ginny's struggle.
    She related to the world around her with fear but also through food and food memories. In cooking recipes, she evokes significant family members. As I read, I had my own food memories and growing experiences. Normal is a spectrum and by the end, Ginny had reached an important understanding of herself and others.
  • Maggie P. (Mount Airy, MD)


    The Kitchen Daughter
    A glance through the book had me dying to read it. After quickly finishing what I was currently reading, I picked up McHenry's book. I can't remember the last time I stayed up late (3:30am) to finish a book. I just could not put it down. I like the way Ginny found comfort in food. The relationship between Ginny and her sister was true to form. I was, however, saddened, that the parent's did not really prepare Ginny for life without them. It was gratifying to watch Ginny grow during the book. I would definitely recommend this book to others. It would be a great book for a bookclub as there are questions in the back of the book for readers.
  • Deborah M. (Los Gatos, CA)


    Cooking with Aspergers
    A good insight into the mind of a girl with Aspergers Syndrome who is more capable than she or her sister realize. Sheltered by her loving parents, she learns self soothing methods revolving around food and cooking. Part cook , book part Asperger's guide, a fun and inspiring book that is hard to put down. Recommended to those who have family with Austism Spectrum Disorders.
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