Nov 29, 2010

The School of Essential Ingredients

by Erica Bauermeister
The Penguin Group, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2009

Bauermeister's first novel knocked me off my feet.
I love this book.
Bauermeister has taught literature and writing and has dabbled with some non-fiction, but this first novel should catapult her to fame.
In a 240-page book that leaves you wanting more, Lillian teaches her monthly Monday night cooking class like a psychotherapist. Lillian lovingly selects the perfect recipe each week to pull a student out of a past that has held them prisoner in an emotional stronghold.
It was breathtaking at times to see how vividly these characters came to life. It surprised me how well I knew them and how easily I recognized them from the world around me and in me. At times, it broke my heart and I was so thankful for Lillian and how she tenderly helped the heartbroken find healing. And then, of course, I'd dry my eyes, make sure no one was looking and remind myself they aren't real - crikey, it's just a book. Then I'd get up and go about my business.

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