BookBrowse Reviews The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

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The Cookbook Collector

A Novel

by Allegra Goodman

The Cookbook Collector
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2010, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2011, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Cindy Anderson

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A novel about getting and spending, and about the substitutions we make when we can’t find what we’re looking for

The stories of two sisters, who are as different from each other as they can be, are the threads that weave together this multi-themed novel about love, loss, and family ties. What makes The Cookbook Collector unusual is not that it follows several plotlines, but that the plotlines are—like the sisters—so vastly different from each other. The fact that Goodman is able to tie them together is to her credit.

The chapters focusing on elder sister Emily, who is running a start-up tech company in Boston during the dot-com era, are fast-paced, mirroring Emily's high energy lifestyle and the rocket-fast rise of her data security business. Emily has lived a pressured life since the death of their mother when she and Jess were young, and has grown up practical, protective, and overly critical of Jess. Emily is financially successful now, but she and her steady and ...

About the Author
Allegra GoodmanAllegra Goodman was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1967, but grew up in Honolulu where her parents taught at the University of Hawaii. Her first book, a collection of stories titled Total Immersion, was published in 1989 on the same day that she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. While pursuing her Ph.D in English at Stanford, Goodman also wrote for The New Yorker and completed her second book of stories, The Family Markowitz, which quickly became a national bestseller. The Family Markowitz was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 1996 and was the fiction winner in the First Annual Salon Book Awards.

When her husband accepted a job at MIT, they moved back to Cambridge Mass, where they and their now four children still live. Her novels to date are: Kaaterskill Falls (1998), Paradise Park (2001), Intuition (2006), The ...

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