The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman
I fall into these ruts of not reading fiction, and when it happens, it lasts a really long time and feels like it will never end. And then there’ll be a book—an amazing, magical book—that not only gets me out of the rut, it throws me way the heck out of it. This is one of those books.
And there's no way I would've picked up this book in the middle of a fiction rut had my book club not selected it.
Now, there is one thing about this book that’s bugging me, but first I’m going to tell you all the things I liked about it.
A wonderful relationship between two sisters is at the heart of this book, and I adore that, because there are few things better than a wonderful sister who loves you even when you’re not at your best. And that’s fully in play in this story.
The sisters are near-opposites: one leads a new dot-com in the days before the burst of the tech bubble, and the other is a wayward grad student who works in a bookstore.
And this is also a delightful comedy of manners. There are a couple of romantic relationships that evolve, and one of them is rather a pleasantly surprising one. I’m a sucker for a well-done comedy of manners, and this book is a wonderful one.
OK, so the thing that annoyed me. There were some coincidences that just seemed way too pat. I know, I know, these weird things happen all the time in real life. But in a novel, I set the reality bar higher than I do for real life. There it is.