Review: The Kitchen Daughter

Why I picked it: I'm pretty careful when accepting books for review, only because we all know I'm not the fastest reader.  After reading the synopsis for this title... I knew I wanted to read it.  I was intrigued.

Synopsis: After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.

A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.

Type: Fiction

Quick Take: Ginny is a 26 year old girl who hides in the closet, talks to herself at times, and obsesses over cooking as a way to calm herself.  I hate to share to many details in the novel but the reader quickly learns something odd is happening between Ginny and her sister.  The story takes an unexpected twist pretty quickly and the rest of the book keeps coming back to something the reader knows, but the sisters do not. 

Ginny's sister comes across as self absorbed and determined.  I didn't like her in the beginning of the novel but by the end, once the secret is revealed... I liked her.  Very interesting way to write a novel, having the sisters not know something....

There are ghosts in the book, I'm generally not a fan of ghosts but they do move the story along and serve a purpose.  The ghosts worked for me. 

Have you read this book?  I would love to discuss it with someone.  It would make for a good summer read for my book club.

Rating: 3/5 stars
Source: Review Copy