Posted by: Kate | August 18, 2015

Book Review: Delicious

I freely admit that I love a book written by a top-notch journalist. Ruth Reichl has a long history of food writing and has also written a number of non-fiction books to great critical acclaim. Delicious is her first foray into the world of fiction, and I welcome her voice.

Part mystery, part coming of age, part food celebration, Delicious brings the story of one young woman in New York to life. The reader is plunged into the middle of Billie’s story, knowing only that things have happened to make her turn left instead of continuing on a chosen path. As the story fills out, we learn more of why Billie has taken the turn. Reichl cleverly allows the reader to see what Billie cannot, which allows us to cheer for her character and want to encourage her through the story.

Reichl writes with passion, and fills not only the food aspects of the story but her characters and the places they occupy with passion as well. Her descriptions are lush yet clear, pulling you easily into the world she has created of food and eccentricity and publishing. Her main character, Billie, is a beautiful mix of self-doubt and sadness. Her journey through the story is one of growth and self-discovery. Reichl also fills the story with a cast of supporting characters who are just as complex and intriguing as Billie herself, weaving the stories together seamlessly so that it creates one main event that is easy to follow as it flows around Billie.

The story unfolds not only around Billie’s growth but also around a mystery Billie uncovers. Through hidden letters, Billie discovers someone else’s life and in the process begins to connect with the people around her in a different way. Watching Billie unravel both the mystery and face her own challenges provided great pace to the story.

Filled with amazing food references, great characters and even a love interest, Delicious is a story that will appeal to many readers. But it is the excellent, solid writing and story-telling that makes it a book worth reading and passing along.

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Responses

  1. I’m glad you wrote this… I had heard of this book on a Books on the Nightstand episode a few months ago and it sounded like something I would really enjoy. But reviews were so mixed on it that I ended up not getting it to bring out to the field — although it did not come off my ‘TBR’ list. With your rec as well, I’ll be reading it this winter!

    • I meant to add a PS to say that this book is on the challenge as my one word title! :) I’ll be curious to know what you think of it, I found it hard to capture for a review.

  2. I listened to Delicious as an audio book download from the library a few months ago. I think you’ve captured the book well in your review. I did find the ending a bit weak/rushed/contrived… But I did greatly enjoy it and will likely re-read it sometime soon. Listening to it in my car made a couple of trips up/down Island go quickly!

    • Hey Sarah! I can see your point about the ending. In some ways it could have ended without the epilogue.

  3. I love this book and everything else by this author! Be sure to try the recipe at the back of the book – it really is Delicious.

    • It definitely sounded yummy!


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