Thursday, July 3, 2014
Delicious! by Ruth Reichl 380 pages
Billie Breslin left her northern California home for New York to take a job at one of the most icon food magazines in the country, Delicious! She's barely settled into her position as assistant to the editor when the staff receives the startling news that the magazine is ceasing publication.
Billie lucks out and gets to stay on, answering the phone and continuing the Delicious! Guarantee, where readers who have tried the recipes and didn’t like them can get their money back. But she isn't the only one left behind. Sammy, the travel writer, has been off on one of his jaunts and has not cleaned out his office. Upon his return, they explore the building, finding a kitchen full of rotting products and a library that has been opened in decades.
While exploring the library, Sammy stumbles upon a secret door that leads to a room full of files with a card catalog smack in the middle of the room. Upon examining the cards, Billie and Sammy discover a filing system that leads them to a series of letters written by a spunky twelve-year-old girl, Lulu Swan, to legendary chef James Beard during World War II. Together Sammy and Billie hunt go on a treasure hunt for the letters. The novel moves back and forth between Billie’s story and the letters.
Foodies rejoice! If you love food, you’ll love learning the history of food. And, if you’ve come to love, like I have, Reichl memoirs, you’ll devour Delicious!. While set in contemporary New York, Reichl seamlessly returns readers to the war years of Lulu’s time. Reichl also gives readers a sense that they are walking the streets of contemporary New York City.
Reichl's debut novel defies genre; it's part historical fiction, part contemporary fiction, part mystery, part romance, part World War II and all wonderful! I simply LOVED Delicious!