Monday, July 28, 2008
COMFORT FOOD BY KATE JACOBS
COMFORT FOOD By Kate Jacob
From the back cover:
Shortly before turning the big 5-0, boisterous party planner and Cooking with Gusto! personality Augusta "Gus" Simpson finds herself planning a birthday party she'd rather not—her own. She's getting tired of being the hostess, the mother hen, the woman who has to plan her own birthday party. What she needs is time on her own with enough distance to give her loved ones the ingredients to put together successful lives without her.Assisted by a handsome up-and-coming chef, Oliver, Gus invites a select group to take an on-air cooking class. But instead of just preaching to the foodie masses, she will teach regular people how to make rich, sensuous meals—real people making real food. Gus decides to bring a vibrant cast of friends and family on the program: Sabrina, her fickle daughter; Troy, Sabrina's ex-husband; Anna, Gus's timid neighbor; and Carmen, Gus's pompous and beautiful competitor at the Cooking Channel. And when she begins to have more than collegial feelings for her sous-chef, Gus realizes that she might be able to rejuvenate not just her professional life, but her personal life as well. . . .
The publisher sent me this book as an uncorrected manuscript and I have to say right off that I really wanted to like this book. The cover art is gorgeous with a black background and luscious apricots in a golden bowl wrapped in ribbons. I had read the author's first book, Friday Night Knitting Club, and liked the richness of the story and characters very much. I found myself comparing this book to the first book and to me it doesn't compare. I felt that Friday Night Knitting Club fit into the category of Women's fiction and I had expected the same from Comfort Food. This book is much more like Chick Lit to me, which is not a favorite genre of mine. I am a fan of foodie shows and love Top Chef and Next Food Network star and others. I felt that this story was trying too hard to fit into that type of show in a fictional sense and for me it didn't work. I didn't care much for the characters and didn't feel drawn to them as they all seemed quite shallow and the writing felt weak. The pace of the story was slow for me and just not that engaging. I think that there may be many who disagree with me and may love this style of book especially if you love Chick Lit and foodie books. If you do, give this book a try and share your thoughts!