Book Review: The Glass Kitchen

I really liked “The Glass Kitchen” by Linda Francis Lee. “The Glass Kitchen” very much shadows Shakespeare’s “Tempest.” With these underlying tones I really liked this book. I thought Lee did a fantastic job with it. This coverage is very chic. I like it a lot. The painted mason jars with the flowers gives it a country elegance look. Portia is the main character and she is the youngest of three sisters. Portia inherited a gift referred to as “the knowing” that her grandmother also had. Portia has denied her “gift” of intuitively knowing when and what food to prepare because of the pressure from her two older and her husband. She ended up closing the restaurant after her grandmother died. Then Portia’s unfaithful politician husband left her and she now has a NYC townhouse that was left to her sisters and her by a very much loved aunt. Portia escapes to this townhouse for refugee and with no money at all, so she starts cook for Gabriel and his daughters since their mother/wife has died. Portia and Gabriel are very much attracted to each other and the reader really learns how two completely opposite people can attract each other.

 

Each chapters starts off as a new course to a meal. The first chapter is the appetizer of course and the story goes on to introduce this “gift” to you that Portia has. The reader is able to see how Portia’s “gift” works and how it is passed down through the generations of women. Each of these women have taken the time to put new recipes into a cookbook to pass them down. Portia struggles with trying to look at her “gift” as an actual gift because all she sees is a curse. Lee did a great job of bringing the “magic” into the novel. I think she blended it and explained everything really well. I really liked how Lee included recipes in the book for others to try to make. There are a few that I am looking forward to trying.

 

I think the hardest part of the entire novel was the point of view shift between Portia and Ariel. I wish Lee would have stuck with just Portia and maybe given Ariel her own novel as a companion book. It felt as if two opinions and thoughts were trying to merge together with one book, so I think it could have been much better if it was just kept separately. I also had a hard time with some of Lee’s characters. Portia and Ariel were perfect. The felt real to me as a reader but I had a hard time with Portia’s sisters Olivia and Cordelia because they felt very flat and limp like. Gabriel was also a pretty boring character, so it would have been nice to have a little bit more about him and who he is. Lee did a great job with wrapping up the story. I feel like the novel is complete. It is not very often that you read a book and feel like everyone and everything had closure and I feel as it Lee did this. I am pretty impressed.

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