After I read The School of Essential Ingredients , I envisioned a sequel and hoped that the author would write one. (You can read my review HERE, it is one of my favorite books). The Lost Art of Mixing is a long awaited sequel which takes us back to Lillian's restaurant where we catch up with several of the same characters as well as a new cast of quirky characters. Lillian is struggling in a relationship with Tom, a widow who is still tied to the memories of his wife. Chloe, who is Lillian's assistant at the restaurant and lives with Isabelle who is dealing with the progression of her Alzheimers. Al, the accountant has a close friendship with Lillian and loves the power and tantalizing smells of her food. He is a lonely man in a lonely marriage to Louise who is struggling with her own issues. The story follows the characters as they are struggling to work through issues in their lives and they are all connected through the center link, Lillian. I enjoyed the book, the beautiful phrases and connections to food and emotions and how Bauermeister connects words and emotions to the food and cooking. The writing is lyrical in these moments. I must admit that I so wanted to love this book as much as I loved The School of Essential Ingredients. I didn't find the character development as engaging or as interesting. I wanted to know more about Lillian and found her character a bit disconnected and flat. There were tender and funny scenes that brought out the characters although there was not enough depth and connection for me as a reader. The ending was a bit abrupt and it makes me wonder if there will be a follow up book. Bauermeister is a talented writer, her writing flows and there is beauty in her lyrical words and phrases that I appreciate.
Disclosure: Thank you to Putnam books who sent me an e-galley copy through Netgalley for review.