by Cathy Lamb
“Food, family, and secrets combine in Cathy Lamb’s emotional and deeply honest novel as one woman discovers the recipes and life lessons that have shaped her family’s past, and could guide her toward a second chance at happiness.
Two years ago, Olivia Martindale left behind her Montana hometown and her husband, Jace, certain it was the best decision for both of them. Back temporarily to protect her almost-adopted daughters from their biological mother, she discovers an old, handwritten cookbook in the attic. Its pages are stained and torn, their edges scorched by flame. Some have been smeared by water . . . or tears. The recipes are written in different hands and in different languages. In between the pages are intriguing mementos, including a feather, a pressed rose, a charm, and unfamiliar photographs.
Hoping the recipes will offer a window into her grandmother’s closely guarded past, Olivia decides to make each dish, along with their favorite family cake recipes, and records her attempts. The result, like much of her life to date, involves a parade of near-disasters and chaotic appearances by her doctor mother, her blunt grandma, her short-tempered sister, and Olivia’s two hilarious daughters. The project is messy, real—and an unintended hit with viewers.
Even more surprising is the family history Olivia is uncovering, and her own reemerging ties to Montana, and to Jace. Generations of women have shared these recipes, offering strength and nourishment to each other and their loved ones. Now it’s Olivia’s turn to find healing—and determine where her home and her heart truly belong.”
I’ve found this book Amazing. Actually, I really love every page of it. It makes me laugh, cry, and reflect.
I didn’t read Cathy Lamb before, but I actually loved her style, the plot, the way she describes each character meticulously, and all the shadows of this big and lovely family. The Martindales goes right to your heart, and you enjoy each page of this book. It gives you the chance to travel through different times and generations, and around different countries; it also recalls important events of the World War II and overall focuses on the strength of this family and its women. The descriptions are interchanged between diaries’ pages, flow of thoughts, and family moments.
In particular, I’ve loved Olivia and his grandmother Gisela Martindale, two women, two generations, but the same strength and love for the family and its traditions. Sharing the love for cooking, they share not only family recipes but also precious moments of the family’s history.
Measure.Mix.Stir.Whip.Bake… and here you are, a recipe for loving.
This book is a hymn to the family and the importance of each family’s history … with suffering, grief, mementos, recovery, but overall LOVE, because it gives us the strength to find happiness and freedom, maybe behind a red door.
“Family comes to us in different ways. Some people are born as family to one another and some choose to become family.”
Thank you Cathy, you deserved five stars out of five.