Recipe for Disaster (Paperback)

By Stacey Ballis

Berkley Books, 9780425265505, 480pp.

Publication Date: March 3, 2015



Stacey Ballis cooks up a delicious broth of a novel about a woman whose perfect life falls apart in spectacular fashion--leaving her with a house to restore, an antique cookbook (but no cooking talent), and one very unhappy schnauzer. For fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin.
To an outside observer, Anneke Stroudt is a mess her shirts are stained, her fingernails stubby, her language colorful. But, despite her flaws, Anneke's life is close to perfect. She has a beautiful historic house to restore and a loving fiance who cooks like a dream.
Until Anneke's charmed existence falls apart when she loses both her job and her future husband in one terrible day. In need of a new start, she packs up her disgruntled schnauzer and moves into her half-finished home, where she throws her pent-up frustration and what little savings she has into finishing the renovation.
But at the first step into the house's overhaul, Anneke is sidetracked when she discovers a mysterious leather-bound book, long hidden away, filled with tempting recipes and steamy secrets from Gemma Ditmore-Smythe, the cook for the house's original owners. Slowly, with the help of some delicious food and Emma's life lessons, Anneke begins to realize that, just like a flawless recipe, she's been waiting for the right ingredients to cook up a perfect life all along
With the perfect blend of humor and heart, Ballis's writing is powerfully honest and genuinely hilarious. --Jen Lancaster

About the Author

Stacey Ballis is the author of ten foodie novels: Inappropriate Men, Sleeping Over, Room for Improvement, The Spinster Sisters, Good Enough to Eat, Off the Menu, Out to Lunch, Recipe for Disaster, Wedding Girl, and How to Change a Life. She is a contributing author to three nonfiction anthologies: Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, and Living Jewishly.

Conversation Starters from

  1. What do you think about Anneke as the story’s protagonist? Did you admire her? Why or why not? Cite specific examples.generic viagra price canada
  2. If Grant had been unfaithful with a woman, would that have made his infidelity any better or worse? Would you have been able to forgive him in either situation?generic viagra price canada
  3. Discuss the morality of Anneke’s marriage to Jag. If you were in her shoes what would you have done?generic viagra price canada
  4. What do you think were Liam’s initial motivations in becoming a partner in the Palmer house? Do you think they were honest from the onset?generic viagra price canada
  5.  In the novel, Anneke forms new friendships and sustains her old ones. Consider these two circles of friends. What does Anneke gain from each?generic viagra price canada
  6. How did Anneke and Jag’s relationships with their parents affect who they become and the decisions they make? Discuss the positive and negative influences of the parents on each character.generic viagra price canada
  7. Gemma’s journal increasingly becomes a source of comfort and advice for Anneke. What is the significance of Anneke leaving it behind for the new owner?generic viagra price canada
  8. Considering the book’s title, what do you think was the “recipe for disaster” it refers to?generic viagra price canada
  9. How did Anneke’s character evolve throughout the novel? In what ways did the building of the house and her trials in the kitchen effect this development?generic viagra price canada
  10. Construction is very much a man’s world. How does Anneke stand her ground in the business? Did you agree with her actions at the MacMurphy offices?generic viagra price canada
  11. What do you think was the turning point in Emily and Anneke’s relationship? How did they influence each other?generic viagra price canada
  12. In Recipe for Disaster, blood relations don’t necessarily make someone family. Who do you consider family to Anneke by the novel’s end? How important are blood relations in your life?generic viagra price canada
  13. In the last chapter, Liam and Anneke’s relationship is left ambiguous. Where do you think it’s headed? Did their relationship surprise you?generic viagra price canada
  14. Anneke cherishes the history of the Palmer house and works to honor it in her modern design. How do the past and present interweave in this novel? How does Gemma’s journal fit into this connection?generic viagra price canada
  15. Food plays a huge role in this novel. Do you have a favorite recipe from the book? What dishes and dining traditions does your family celebrate?generic viagra price canada