In the Kitchen is essentially a descent-into-madness tale, and we're warned of this in the novel's very first paragraph:
When he looked back, he felt that the death of the Ukrainian was the point at which things began to fall apart it was the following day on which, if a life can be said to have a turning point, his own began to spin.
As the story unfolds, Gabriel Lightfoot's incipient breakdown reveals its roots: his mother's manic/depressive state, his mill town upbringing, his own desperate plans to make something of himself in the world of high class London restaurants, and the changing patterns of British society due to immigration and economics.
Though written in the third person, the point of view is all Gabriel's, who has contentious relationships with everyone in his life. He suffers from a debilitating inability to communicate, and is sorely out of touch with his...
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