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Delicious!

A Novel

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Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Includes an exclusive conversation between Ruth Reichl and Emily Giffin

Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you.
 
Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.
 
To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.

Praise for Delicious!
 
“Compulsively readable . . . a treat for anyone who loves a warm, character-packed tale—a delectable mix of flavor, fantasy, and emotional comfort food.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“[Reichl’s] New York is a fairy-tale town where beautiful food abounds. . . .  The novel presents a whole passel of surprises: a puzzle to solve; a secret room; hidden letters; the legacy of James Beard; and a parallel, equally plucky heroine from the past, who also happens to be a culinary prodigy.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Fascinating characters . . . There’s romance, intrigue, food history, and the fictional appearance of a very real American culinary icon.”—The Austin Chronicle

“Reichl’s vivid descriptions of food will have readers salivating, and an insider’s look at life at a food magazine is fascinating. Her satisfying coming-of-age novel of love and loss vividly demonstrates the power of food to connect people across cultures and generations.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“This savory feast of a first novel blends the rich gifts that readers of Reichl’s memoirs and food writing have come to expect. To a tantalizing coming-of-age story about a budding chef and journalist she adds a bittersweet tale of separated sisters.”More

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 03, 2014 – Former New York Times restaurant critic and Gourmet editor Reichl’s (Tender at the Bone) first foray into fiction is like an iced white cake. It follows a traditional recipe, it is really sweet, and it is dull. A young California woman named Billie Breslin (a barely disguised Reichl) lands a job at a food magazine called Delicious! in New York City just before it is shuttered by budget-minded bigwigs. As part of an interim position fielding calls and correspondence from subscribers, Billie stays on as the lone employee in the old mansion from which the magazine was published for years. A stock character named Sammy, the fey former travel editor for the mag, leads her to a beautiful library on an upstairs floor, where they uncover letters written to the famous James Beard from a girl named Lulu during the Second World War—letters that have been hidden in a secret chamber by a long-gone librarian named Bertie. Billie embarks upon a scavenger hunt for the remaining the letters, and, in the end, on a journey to find their aging author. In order to get in as much foodie language as possible, Reichl has Billie working at a deli in Little Italy on the weekends, where she meets Mr. Complainer, her love interest. Though Reichl is a marvelous food writer, the language used here is often cloying.

Customer Reviews

Disappointing

I have really enjoyed Ruth Reichl’s writing in the past: Tender at the Bone was a favorite memoir of mine in the food writing genre. Unfortunately, her first venture into fiction disappoints. The storyline feels like a hodgepodge of anecdotes/experiences from her own life with a layer of very transparent make-believe on top. The letters written by the narrator as well as those written by the girl, Lulu, from the past, which are sprinkled throughout the book, while initially cute, become a distraction, and as a reader you wish she would just get on with the story rather than drawing out the „suspense“ for so long. The book also often feels like it is written for a 13-year old girl, and it’s hard to imagine it’s meant to appeal to adult audiences. The prose often feels forced - carefully crafted sentences that feel and read as such. Wish I could be more positive, but I wasn’t pulled into this one like I have been to her other writing.

Wonderful

This was a wonderful book. Like experiencing a great meal in a beautiful setting, this book takes you on a trip with good friends. I loved it and hope that Mrs. Reichl will write more books. This was wonderfully satisfying but I know I will crave more- as you would an incredible meal. Thank you.

Delightful and delicious

I read this in one sitting. Wonderful,intriguing characters. Such fun. Well worth the read.

Delicious!
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: May 06, 2014
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings