Discovery in the Kitchen
I loved this book. I enjoyed learning more about Ginny, from her perspective as the story unfolds. Her 'symptom' , although never diagnosed adds to her fight for a new independence and her grief after the sudden loss of both parents. It's a wonderful story of two sisters' love and disagreements as they try to figure out life as it is now. It is a great book for book clubs. It opens the way to discussions on the secrets families keep from each other, the help we get from our friends, coming to terms with our personality differences, ghosts from the past and giving up some crutches in order to grow and move on. You'll have to read the book for yourself to find out why.
Rated of 5
by Stephanie C. Librarian (Reedley, CA)
Unique view of Normal
In the Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry we are introduced to the voice of Ginny, a girl with "personality". This story uses Ginny's unique voice to ask questions on how it is normal to grieve and even if there is a normal. Ginny's tale will make you examine the idea of normal and view your actions and the actions of those around you from a different point of view. Recommended for anyone looking for a unique voice.
Rated of 5
by Elizabeth D. (Maple Grove, MN)
A great sightseeing substitute
Last month I traveled to Europe for the very first time; while there, I came down with a nasty cold and spent two and a half days in the hotel room. I still enjoyed those days, however, because I got the chance to read a couple of good books, including this one. I don't know much about Asperger's, so I'm not sure how accurate the portrayal of the main character was, but I liked seeing things from the perspective of this character - how she handled stressful events: what kinds of daily activities were obstacles - and what were not. I have a particular interest in stories told from the perspective of an "outsider", since I find that viewpoint to be revealing of truths often overlooked or ignored.
While I didn't find any particularly new truths, I did think the tension between the two sisters was realistic and balanced. The food descriptions and the aura of alchemy about cooking made me want to become passionate about cooking, instead of treating it as a chore. I love a good ghost story, and would have liked a little more from this piece of the book - the apparitions seemed almost too ordinary, although there was one at the end of the book that I found disquieting. I felt fortunate I brought along such an engaging book - it kept my attention even while sick and made being confined to my hotel room actually enjoyable!
Rated of 5
by Lynn R. (Dixon, IL)
Review From a Foodie Librarian
I liked this book more for the subject than the quality of the writing. Expressing emotions through food and developing characters through recipes was very creative. The voice of the main character, Ginny, was inconsistent and sometimes not believable but she was an interesting character. This books reminds me of Jonathan Foer's quirky style.
Rated of 5
by Paula F. (Atlanta, GA)
Echoes of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
The Kitchen Daughter is ultimately a story that questions what, or who, is normal and who has the right to make that determination. It suggests that all of us are wounded in one way or another. Ginny Selvaggio, a young woman with Asperger's Syndrome forced to deal with life after her sheltering parents die unexpectedly, reminds me of Truly Plaice, the title character in Tiffany Baker's The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. Both realize that they are different from others, both have more "normal" sisters, and both have mystical powers. The Kitchen Daughter is very well written and would make a good book club selection. I would also recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Little Giant.
Rated of 5
by Cindy M. (W. Reading, PA)
Jael McHenry creates an unlikely heroine in a socially awkward younger sister who, after the death of her parents, needs to adapt to the new terms of life laid before her. As she and her sister sift through their parents possessions, she comes to understand them and herself in new ways. The conflicts that emerge forge new relationships with her sister and those around her. This is a magical and heartwarming coming-of-age story not without its sad moments. You will want to have a full pantry when you read this. McHenry's descriptions of cooking, the recipes, the scents, and preparation will lead you straight to your own kitchen.
Rated of 5
by Jinny K. (Fremont, CA)
Sweet, but far-fetched
I did enjoy some aspects of this book and would certainly be on the lookout for future works by this author. However, I don't generally read sci-fi or fantasy, so the weaving of the spirit world into an otherwise down-to-earth story didn't seem congruous to me. I also think the recipe-within-novel device has gotten pretty tired. The characters were beautifully drawn and well maintained throughout the novel. Especially touching was the relationship between Ginny and her sister. The interior monologue of the protagonist was extraordinary and I really felt that I was living her life for a time. Overall, a good read and I was left wishing it were a little longer.
Kenn Nesbitt is new Children's Poet Laureate(Jun 12 2013) Kenn Nesbitt has been named the new Children's Poet Laureate: Consultant in Children's Poetry to the Poetry Foundation, which noted that the two-year position...