Monday, November 23, 2015

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a debut novel by J. Ryan Stradal. I read it as the November book
group's choice.

The novel is about Eva Thorvald.  Eva's parents separated when she was an infant and her mother abandoned Eva and Eva's father.  Shortly after that, Eva's father died, and so she was raised by her father's relatives.  Eva's father had been a chef and, even as an infant, Eva was introduced to good food. She grew up only wanting to work in restaurants and to cook. 

This novel is actually like several short stories that intertwine with each other.  The chapters are: Lutefisk, Chocolate Habanero, Sweet Pepper Jelly, Walleye, Golden Bantam, Venison, Bars, and The Dinner. And each chapter is narrated by a different person. And the chapters all tie into Eva.  It is very interesting and impressive how well the author did this! And the last chapter ties each chapter's food title into The Dinner chapter. A very well-done novel (no pun intended!).

This book made for a great book group discussion and everyone loved the book.  That in itself says a lot for this book! Different, but very good read.

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