Review and giveaway: The Kitchen Daughter
Twenty-six year old Ginny has been sheltered and protected by her parents her whole life. She’s socially awkward, so she struggles to deal with all the ceremony surrounding their funeral after they died together in an accident. Ginny’s sister, Amanda, makes all the funeral arrangements, and afterward insists that Ginny come to live with her and her family.
Ginny wants to remain in the home she shared with her parents, though, and turns to the one thing that brings her comfort – cooking. While she’s in the kitchen, Ginny discovers that she can conjure up ghosts by creating one of the recipes they wrote while they were alive. When two of the ghosts tell her not to let Amanda do something, it’s up to Ginny to figure out what they mean.
As shallow as it sounds, I have to admit that I was initially drawn to The Kitchen Daughter, by Jael McHenry, because of its fabulous cover, and I’m happy to say this is one case when you can judge a book by its cover. I absolutely adored this book and am pretty sure it will be one of my favorite reads of the year.
Ginny is such a wonderful character – she’s smart, spirited and gifted in the kitchen. She struggles when dealing with other people, but is fully aware of her shortcomings, and works hard to overcome them. Since her parents died unexpectedly, she’s got to figure out how to manage the rest of her life – no easy task for anyone, it’s especially hard for Ginny. She’s loyal, curious and thoughtful, and I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and give her a hug, even though she wouldn’t have liked that. I got so attached to her that I literally sobbed at one point in the book – that shows you how emotionally invested I was in this story!
The other characters in the book are fantastic as well. Amanda seems overbearing, but she’s just trying to take up where her parents left off. Gert, the housekeeper, seems to be the one who knows Ginny the best and she teaches Ginny a lot with her strong, selfless actions.
Told in the first person present tense, I found The Kitchen Daughter to be absolutely captivating. I don’t always like supernatural elements in books, but they’re so well done in this one, they seemed natural. I love that there are recipes included in some of the chapters, but I haven’t tried any of them yet. I couldn’t put the book down, but I didn’t want it to end either – believe me when I say this is one book you don’t want to miss.
Thanks to the generosity of Gallery Books, I have two copies of this wonderful book to give away!! To enter to win THE KITCHEN DAUGHTER by Jael McHenry, simply fill out this entry form. Contest is open to US residents only. I will use random.org to determine the winner. Contest ends at midnight EST Friday, April 22, 2011. The winner will be announced on Saturday, April 23, 2011. Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.
Challenges: Foodies Challenge