Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review: The Love Goddess' Cooking School, by Melissa Senate

The Love Goddess’ Cooking School is a sweet, heart-warming book about family and romance (and food!)

Holly has just been dumped by what she thought was the love of her life. But, really, she knew she was kidding herself. So she retreats to her grandmother Camilla’s house on Blue Crab Island, off the coast of Maine. She has always spent vacations and summers with her grandmother, a place her mother hated, and she feels comfortable coming back to heal.

Unfortunately, after spending two weeks with her grandmother, Camilla dies. Holly inherits her home which includes Camilla’s Cucinotta (a little store that sells homemade pasta and sauces), and The Love Goddess’ Cooking School.

So Holly loses herself in her cooking, trying to recreate the special recipes that her grandmother was famous for, and trying to do it well enough to also teach others. In the process of conducting her first class, she meets some great people who will become her friends, and also meets Mia, a 12-year-old who wants to be Holly’s assistant so Mia can learn to cook and then her father won’t need to marry that awful, phony girlfriend.

Senate writes beautiful descriptions of the recipes and the cooking methods. I love to cook, so I soaked it up and it made me want to cook something, as well as eat it! There are a few recipes included at the end of the book, too.

This book is the kind of romance I love. It is simple story-telling, with rich characters and settings. The plot isn’t altogether unpredictable, but the journey to the end is delightful. I like that the romance ups and downs aren’t based on the usual lies and misunderstandings. I hate when you are reading about a couple and you just want to yell, “would you just be honest and TALK to each other?” This book, thankfully, was NOT like that. There was honesty, and hurt, and happiness. And it was all nicely tied up at the end.

I want to visit Blue Crab Island, but it doesn’t exist. I think I will plan a trip to Maine, and if not, I’ll be sure to read Melissa Senate’s other books set in Maine. I would suggest this book to adults mostly. There may be a few older, mature teens that would enjoy it too.

Published by Gallery Books, 2010
Personal copy
321 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. Except for the initial breakup part I loved this book. It did seem very delicious.

  2. This sounds like a cosy, laid-back read. Thanks for the recommendation :)


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