Review by Ann McDonald
‘The Glass Kitchen’ is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.
This story has everything; sisters, great food and magic in the form of a gift called the ‘knowing’, which has been passed down to the Cuthcart women through food. We also have the wide skies of Texas and the Manhattan skyline with the wonder of New York City thrown in. You have villains you love to hate and a steely, dominant sexy hero that you want to keep in your kitchen or anywhere else you can get him. Oh my! The Glass Kitchen will hold on to you and you’re not going to want to let go.
Three sisters, Cordelia, Olivia and Portia all live in Texas. Their grandmother has the ‘gift’ and a restaurant called The Glass Kitchen where she dispenses great food and advice. After Portia’s father dies in a hunting accident, her mother tells gran that Portia also has the gift, before dying of a broken heart. The girls move in with their grandmother and Portia takes to the cooking and baking under the watchful eye of her gran but she does not teach her about the ‘knowing’.
Their grandmother has a sister who lives in Manhattan, Evie, who was once a successful Broadway actress in her day and owns an old, brownstone home on the Upper West Side. The girls visit often and are told that the house will one day be theirs. When gran dies, Cordelia and Olivia move to Manhattan and Portia marries an up-and-coming politician who forbids her to use her ‘knowing’, insisting she is to become normal. She does and three years later, her husband has an affair, gets his aide pregnant, divorces Portia and leaves her penniless.
With The Glass Kitchen long sold and gone, she moves to Manhattan to be near her sisters and to claim her apartment, the only thing she has left. Her sisters have already sold theirs to a man with two daughters who is very rich. Enter our sexy, dominant hero Gabriel. Portia’s gift begins to resurface and then the tale takes off. One episode in particular, had me in tears laughing. Portia needs a job and is talked into advertising hamburgers and has to wear the restaurant’s hamburger mascot suit that she consequently can’t get out of. It was a touch of genius and it kicked the story up another notch.
The book never eases up at all, it keeps you glued to the story the whole way through. It all revolves around a core of characters straight out of a Broadway musical and combines it with a sexy romance novel input. It generates a well-told story about love, life and forgiveness with hearts open to a future, along with a bit of help from the ‘knowing’. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it. Go buy the book, the recipes at the back of the book are well worth the cost by themselves.
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