Random House, Hardcover, 9781400069620, 380pp.
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you.
Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at "Delicious , "New York's most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water until she is welcomed by the magazine's colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari's, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then "Delicious " is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.
To Billie's surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine's library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu's letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.
Praise for "Delicious "
Compulsively readable . . . a treat for anyone who loves a warm, character-packed tale a delectable mix of flavor, fantasy, and emotional comfort food. "O: The Oprah Magazine"
Reichl s] New York is a fairy-tale town where beautiful food abounds. . . . The novel presents a whole passel of surprises: a puzzle to solve; a secret room; hidden letters; the legacy of James Beard; and a parallel, equally plucky heroine from the past, who also happens to be a culinary prodigy. " The New York Times Book Review"
Fascinating characters . . . There's romance, intrigue, food history, and the fictional appearance of a very real American culinary icon. " The Austin Chronicle"
Reichl's vivid descriptions of food will have readers salivating, and an insider's look at life at a food magazine is fascinating. Her satisfying coming-of-age novel of love and loss vividly demonstrates the power of food to connect people across cultures and generations. "Library Journal"(starred review)
This savory feast of a first novel blends the rich gifts that readers of Reichl's memoirs and food writing have come to expect. To a tantalizing coming-of-age story about a budding chef and journalist she adds a bittersweet tale of separated sisters. "More.
Praise for Tender at the Bone
“While all good food writers are humorous . . . few are so riotously, effortlessly entertaining as Ruth Reichl.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A poignant, yet hilarious, collection of stories about people [Reichl] has known and loved, and who, knowingly or unknowingly, steered her on the path to fulfill her destiny as one of the world’s leading food writers.”—Chicago Sun-Times
Praise for Comfort Me with Apples
“The book’s charm emerges through Reichl’s writing, her observations and her amazing ability to capture people in a few memorable sentences. . . . You just have to read it.”—USA Today
“Reads not like life described but like life lived . . . Each story affirms [Reichl’s] desire to get beyond the surface, even as she celebrates its unlikely depths.”—The New York Times