Friday, March 25, 2011
Good Enough To Eat Stacey Ballis
This was a very quick, very sweet read. I liked the characters immediately and felt connected to the main character, Melanie's story. I have read a number of different "foodie" series a la Diane Mott Davidson and while this revolved around food it had a completely different feel. I do like that she included the recipes at the end look amazing and I might just give some of them a try. This was a recommendation from Jen Lancaster (one of my favorites) and she did not disappoint!
From Publishers Weekly
Melanie Hoffman and her husband Andrew have been happily married for almost 10 years but when Melanie slims down to a trim size 6 after once tipping the scale at 290 pounds, her hubby leaves her for another chubby lady. Now divorced, the 39 year-old finds solace in her successful Chicago restaurant serving healthy gourmet fare. She has a small support group there consisting of her energetic, gay sous chef, Kai, a ballsy part-time cook, Delia, and her new roomie, a 24-year-old whimsical vagabond named Nadia. As Melanie slowly sweeps up the crumbs of fallen love, she finds Nathan and the handsome documentary filmmaker helps her overcome her body image issues. Ballis's (The Spinster Sisters) use of the enjoyment of cooking and eating as a continuous theme with featured recipes in the back is a nice addition, but the heart of her book lies within the jagged mind of Melanie and her daily struggle that most women, fat or thin, endure. Women will savor the brutal honesty of how Melanie sees her body, her battles with food, her failed marriage, and her fear of new love. (Sept.)
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Melanie, 39, is thrown for a major loop when, after she works hard to lose 145 pounds, her husband leaves her for a woman as heavy as Melanie used to be. Heartbroken, she throws her energy into the healthy-food café she founded, Dining by Design. Melanie is hanging on financially until she finds out that her condo association is assessing a hefty fee for a major repair, forcing Melanie to take in a roommate: free-spirited Nadia, who at 24 is on the run from a past she refuses to talk about. Despite their different backgrounds and ages, the two become friends, and Nadia starts working part-time at the café. The novel’s conflicts are few and relatively tame, but food lovers will certainly appreciate Ballis’ sumptuous descriptions of the meals Melanie and her friends cook up; and 40 pages of recipes are provided for readers eager to try their hand at some of the dishes. --Kristine Huntley