Read through to the end to find out how you can win your own copy of THE GLASS KITCHEN or a Kitchen Aid mixer!
Portia was the perfect Texas politician’s wife – until he had an affair with her best friend and dumped her. She takes off for New York City, to an apartment she inherited from her aunt. Her sisters inherited the other two apartments in the house, but sold theirs to Gabriel, who seems shocked to find her living downstairs in the garden apartment.
Portia and her sisters grew up in Texas and after losing their parents, all three sisters lived with their grandmother who owned a restaurant called the Glass Kitchen. Portia inherited something special from her grandmother, a gift the family calls ‘the knowing.’
Portia finds herself cooking certain foods, with only the vaguest sense of why, but invariably someone shows up who needs whatever she has prepared, like the dozens of cupcakes made before knowing there was a school bake sale. But after her grandmother dies, and her husband tells her she’s crazy, she fights those impulses as best as she can. Portia just stops cooking. But living on her own in NYC has brought those feelings back, and Porita just stops fighting her gift.
There is a strong attraction between her upstairs neighbor Gabriel and Portia, and they start a secret affair, with him climbing down the fire escape into her bed at night. Gabriel has two children, the precocious 12-year-old Ariel and a rebellious teenager, Miranda. Their mother died the previous year in a tragic car accident, and Gabriel moved them to the city in hopes that would help with their healing. Portia and Ariel form a unique bond, especially after Gabriel hires her to cook for the girls, but Miranda is a much harder nut to crack.
When Portia’s sisters land in financial trouble, they decide the answer to all their problems is to open a Glass Kitchen in New York City. Gabriel is dead set against it, citing harrowing statistics about restaurant failures in the city but the women plunge ahead. Meanwhile Gabriel and Portia keep giving in to their attraction until Portia finds out he’s been lying to her, then she dumps him and hides out with a neighbor.
Romances never run smoothly, and Lee does a more than credible job here, even with the touches of magical realism sprinkled throughout the book. This is a charming, sweet and funny story with wonderful, warm characters you can’t help but care about. If you liked The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender, you should enjoy The Glass Kitchen as well – I actually liked it a lot more. Recipes are included, and the jalapeño mustard is on my list to try for sure.
If you are looking for a beach read with real heart, look no further.
6/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE GLASS KITCHEN by Linda Francis Lee. St. Martin’s Press; First Edition edition (June 17, 2014). ISBN 978-0312382278. 384p.
The publisher is offering up a special contest
If you would like to win your own copy of THE GLASS KITCHEN:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “GLASS KITCHEN” as the subject. You must include your snail mail address in your email.
All entries must be received by July 4, 2014. Five (5) names will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States or Canada. One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.