The Kitchen Daughter
by Jael McHenry
272 pages
Fiction ~ Magical Realism

Ginny, a twenty-something chef-extraordinaire finds solace in her family kitchen as a means of avoiding people (she doesn't like them) and the world around her (she doesn't understand it). Often referring to her Normal Book and multiple blogs and websites for advice and cooking information, Ginny lives a quiet life in the safe shelter of her mother and father. When they both pass away in an accident, Ginny must grapple with her world turning upside down, and to cope, turns to the kitchen's familiar scents and tastes. However, she is now able to summon the spirits who created the beloved recipes she holds dear, and these spirits reveal information to her that will change her reality.

I had a difficult time rating this book because I often wasn't sure how I felt about it as I read. I didn't care for Ginny as a protagonist. I know I was supposed to mostly dislike her sister, Amanda, but I generally felt apathetic towards her. As for the secondary characters, I don't feel that they added too much to the story. People are calling this a novel of magical realism, but I don't think it had enough magic in it to warrant this title.

It's a quick read with the smell and taste of food really brought to life by the author's words; for me, this was the best part of the book. Worth a shot if you enjoy foodie fiction.

three stars