I recently won Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford off of my favorite book website, LibraryThing, as an Early Review. What that means is that when a book has just been published or is about to be published, certain books are made available to people to read them as long as they will review the book. And so here's my review.
Rachel Goldman is a recently divorced New Yorker who was told all her life that cooking was a way to make a woman a slave to her traditional role in the 1950s, and therefore cooking should be avoided at all costs. However, since she is recently divorced from her attorney husband, Rachel no longer has the cash available to avoid cooking and begins to teach herself the basics and beyond, and finds herself in the process. Along the way she starts a cooking blog which becomes insanely popular, wins awards and exposes her to thousands.
There's also the handsome Spaniard who happens to come to a dinner party as a guest of her brother, so you know where that goes...
As much as I wanted to dislike this book (except for the divorce, this seems like the perfect life), I couldn't. Ford writes believably and the reader wants to be friends with the protagonist. She's just the right amount of quirky and insecure so she seems somewhat real and none of the characters are so outrageous that they could only exist in a book.
The author has a bit of experience in one aspect of Rachel's life. Blogs. She's the author of Stirrup Queens which is about her infertility struggle. When I learned that, the part about the blog in the book suddenly taking off and winning awards began to make sense. This can actually happen to people. It happened to her.
There is a big "secret" in the book which didn't seem secret to me at all, and because of that I'm not sure how secret it was supposed to be. Also, the ending was a little hokey, but it was the ending I was hoping for. I was a bit surprised about how little food came into play. Sure, Rachel cooked for people and wrote a bit about some of her endeavors, but I figured this would go into my "Food Lit" category on my 11 in 11 Challenge, and now it has to take up my last chick lit spot. Sigh. 11 months left to go, and no room left for any more chick lit. Anyway....It's a very quick read, my copy was 198 pages, and it's well worth the time.