Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Review -- The School of Essential Ingredients

The School of Essential Ingredients The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister


My rating: 3 of 5 stars







My first “foodie” book was Like Water for Chocolate. It literally changed my life.

I certainly wasn’t expecting to have the same reaction after reading The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, luckily for me, it is sometimes good not to have expectations.

Lillian’s cooking class has attracted eight eager students – all searching for something other than food – a way to find one’s self again after being a stay at home mom, a way to heal after losing your soul mate to cancer, a way to mend past transgressions. Over the course of their cooking studies they learn more about themselves and the food they are preparing.

This was a quaint novel. Nothing dramatic, nothing earth shattering. No profound life changing affect like the aforementioned book. It was quick and easy – something I needed for a vacation read. One problem I did have with her writing style – the complete overuse of metaphors and similes. Literally, every other sentence was like this, “…something she couldn’t quite identify, deep and mysterious, like perfume lingering in the folds of a cashmere scarf.” Lovely if used sparingly, but not every sentence in every paragraph! Her imagery was charming, but bordered on over-kill.

Most foodie novels contain recipes, this one does not. So if that is a requirement for your tastes, I would move on to another book.

I’m still a lover of food lit – and this is a passable contribution to the genre. But I would stick with Like Water for Chocolate or Chocolat any day.


For another opinion, check out this at Reading for Sanity.

Book source: private copy

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