Author: Kate Jacobs
Release Date: April 7, 2009
Publisher: Berkeley Trade
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
Shortly before turning 50, TV cooking show personality Augusta “Gus” Simpson discovers that the network wants to boost her ratings by teaming her with a beautiful, young new co-host. But Gus isn’t going without a fight—whether it’s off-set with her two demanding daughters, on-camera with the ambitious new diva herself, or after-hours with Oliver, the new culinary producer who’s raising Gus’s temperature beyond the comfort zone. Now, in pursuit of higher ratings and culinary delights, Gus might be able to rejuvenate more than just her career.
When I was offered the chance to review this, I couldn’t help but be excited. I’ve seen lots of positive reviews for Comfort Food, as well as her previous book, The Friday Night Knitting Club, so I knew I wanted to read it. Plus, it’s about FOOD y’all and I LOVE food.
So, I snapped it up. And as soon as I had the chance, I devoured it.
Comfort Food is a multigenerational tale that takes place in the foodie/television world. Popular television icon Augusta ‘Gus’ Simpson is the host of “Cooking with Gusto!”a beloved show on the struggling Cooking Channel. Gus, a widowed mother of two grown daughters, is about to turn 50 and is not very excited about it. So tired, that she is actually considering not hosting the lavish birthday party she usually throws for herself. These trials are nothing compared to the sabotage waiting for her when her boss cancels her show and insists that she co-host a new show with YouTube cooking sensation Carmen Vega. Carmen is younger, hotter and by all appearances getting very cozy with the boss. The bosses think Gus needs to spice things up and that Carmen is just the ticket. However, it’s pretty much obvious from the moment they meet each other that there will be no getting along.
Add to the cast of characters Gus’s flighty, commitment-phobic daughter and her protective sister, Sabrina and Aimee, Sabrina’s ex-boyfriend Troy, Gus’s reclusive neighbor Hannah, and Gus’s new show director (and possible love interest) Oliver and you have a recipe for lots of good story, tension and something comforting.
By the end of the book I felt as if I knew these characters personally. The writers are finely drawn and you’ll love them, hate them, want to throttle them and invite them home for dinner; just like family. The writing has its share problems; the book is too long, there are a few too many characters wrapped up in the plot (I think Hannah could have had her own book!) and the author never convinced me to like Carmen, but on the whole it’s an enjoyable read about food, family, love and finding your place in the world, no matter your age.
And hey, maybe my loosing streak with chick lit has been busted?? We can only hope.
Visit the Comfort Food website for more about the book, including recipes!
Many thanks to Melissa at Penguin Books for supplying this delightful read!
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