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3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,373 Ratings  ·  285 Reviews
Meg is growing up in a world of food filled fantasy; where her first tooth was so sharp her mother used her as a can opener, and eating too many apples once left her spitting pips. Then, age five, she is humiliated in front of the other children at school and turns her back on the world of fiction, deciding to let logic rule her everyday thoughts and deeds.

Years later, Meg
Paperback, UK Edition, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Legend Press
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PLEASE NOTE: This book is sold in the US as
From the Kitchen of Half Truths

I loved the beginning of the book:

" I came out a little underdone. Five more minutes and I would have been as big as the other children, my mother said. She blamed my pale complexion on her cravings for white bread (too much flour) and asked the doctor if I would have risen better had she done more exercise (too little air). The doctor wasn’t sure about this, but he was very concerned about the size of my feet. He su
Apr 10, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't quite know what to expect from this novel, but I didn't think it would affect me so deeply, make me laugh and cry and sigh. I simply loved reading this book. I savored it and didn't wanting it to end.

Meg May grew up with an imaginative and free-spirited mom, Valerie, who told her funny and outlandish stories about her childhood. Whenever Meg asked her what really happened, her mom would repeat these same stories. As Meg grew up she became frustrated and rejected anything illogical and d
Diane S ☔
Nov 19, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
A charming and profound look at the relationship between a mother and daughter. Magical realism in all its glory, stories Meg's mother told her about her childhood, fanciful tales of sausages escaping and many other delightful tales of Meg's youth. For quite a while Meg ate these stories up, thought them true, told them to her friends until one day they laughed at her and called her a liar.

From then on the rational Meg took over, all silliness and flightiness banished for the constrained and com
Jun 24, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can barely keep my eyes open, but I had to get my thoughts down on paper before to sleep. This book was big surprise! I thought it sounded interesting, but it took quite a while to be truly captivated. The reason for that was because I really didn't like Meg, the main character of the story. She had no personality, no sense of humor, and absolutely no patience for her mother. In fact, she is not unlike a surly teenager, and I have my own so I would know! And I was one once, and I could see the ...more
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was like curling up under a blanket on a rainy day. When I had to put it down, I couldn't wait to start reading it again and the words just flowed beautifully.

The stories that Meg's mother, Valerie, tells her about her childhood all reflect cooking or food in some way. This makes sense as Valerie's passion is cooking. She has filled Meg's head with wonderful stories and created this fantastical world where the scar on her head is from a bite from a cra
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

The Storyteller's Daughter (first published as Nutmeg in the UK, and to be published in the US as the Kitchen of Half Truth) by debut author Maria Goodin is a a poignant story of a relationship between a mother who has taken refuge in fantasy and a daughter who wants only the facts.

Meg's mother has told her daughter whimsical stories of her birth and early childhood, stories Meg had no reason to doubt since she has no memory of anything that happened before her fifth birthday. But at eight year
Paula Vince
This is quirky fiction which could easily be made into a movie. It's a bit like an adult version of something like Roald Dahl's "Matilda". All the tall stories in this book would be wonderful incorporated into a film version.

Meg May is a science graduate who can't remember the first six years of her life, but her mother, Valerie, has filled her head with all sorts of weird and wonderful tales concerning her birth, all centered around food. Meg believed them as fact until other school kids tease
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at:

Where do I begin…I have so many good things to say about this book. Let me start by saying it’s one of those stories that made me upset that it had to come to an end. It held me captivated from first to last word. I love the premise of this book, about a mother and daughter relationship, and how sometimes we take things and people for granted in our lives. However, what I loved most about it is Ms. Goodin took a very different approac
Kathleen Dixon
I didn't like the beginning of this book - I understand why it starts with the mother's fantasy of the daughter's birth, but it was too much for me. However, I continued reading and quickly decided I liked the possibility of mental conflict that the story promised. And I did enjoy the conflict, though I found Meg's voice to be younger than her years. She seemed more like a 13-year-old than a young woman, so I had to get past that each time I dipped into the book. It might have reached 4 stars if ...more
Deborah Swift
Mar 25, 2012 Deborah Swift rated it it was amazing
I received Maria Goodin's debut novel via the Amazon Vine programme, having heard it was already set to be translated into four languages even before publication. Published by Legend Press - a small independent publisher, I can quite see why.

I was totally enchanted by this novel which is at once funny, moving and thought-provoking.

The story hinges around the relationship between Meg and her eccentric mother, who is terminally ill. The book is a sensory delight as Meg's mother is obsessed with co
Jun 06, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an uncorrected digital galley of Kitchen of Half Truth from in return for my honest opinion and thoughts.

I highly recommend reading From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin; I received an Advanced Copy from It took me by surprise how much I enjoyed this novel. It is a story about a daughter gaining insight into her mother, a mother who is dying. Valerie May, a kindhearted, imaginative mother, loves her daughter, Meg May, so much she is willing to rei
Susan Obryan
The truth isn't always easy to digest, especially if it's masked by more alluring assaults on the senses. But like any delicious treat, the truth can be well worth the wait.

So writes Maria Goodin in "From the Kitchen of Half Truths," a novel about a woman who deals only with facts after a lifetime of falsehoods and tall tales. When she returns to her childhood home to care for her sick mom, all she wants is the truth. No frills or frosting - just the plain vanilla truth.

No more stories about bei
Tiffani Long
Jan 17, 2014 Tiffani Long rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Every once in a while the book stars align and you get read a story that is equal parts funny and poignant, with the right balance of pain and heartache, love and letting go-- then the book also has characters that frustrate you yet teach you, characters that reflect yourself or someone you love and an ending that is perfect. Such was the case with The Kitchen of Half Truth. Maria Goodin is a very smart writer. I loved everything about this book even when Meg frustrated me, because it endeared m ...more
Jun 13, 2013 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved loved loved this book. I wasn't going to buy it the first few times I saw it at the bookstore but then I struck a conversation with one of the booksellers one day and she started talking about this book and her description of it mesmerized me. So, I bought it. And I am so glad I did. It is magical. It is beautiful. It is one of those delightful reads you want to savor. It is one of those reads you don't want to put down but then you don't want to rush through it either because then you'l ...more
Sep 17, 2013 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
This novel started out as an award-winning short story, and I can see how it would have worked better in that format. As a full-length novel, the author becomes repetitive, hitting the reader over the head with the message instead of using some subtlety and trusting that the reader will figure it out. The relationship between Meg and her mother is poignant and lovely, but Meg's boyfriend is such a cold, unfeeling jerk and the other prospective love interest is so utterly perfect that there is no ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Cheri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-group-2015
The plot is very predictable; I could outline basically what would happen after just a few chapters. But this book is not about the plot!It is about the people. It is about life and what you do with what you get. It kept me up until 3:00 am reading even though I had guessed the plotline and I dreamed the characters into my dreams last night. It affected me deeply and made me cry. And gave me lots to think about.

Favorite quote: “I am the child I once was, and the adult I am today. I am all of my
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
From the Kitchen of Half Truth (published as Nutmeg in the UK, and in Australia as The Storyteller's Daughter) by debut author Maria Goodin is a a poignant story of a relationship between a mother who has taken refuge in fantasy and a daughter who wants only the facts.

Meg’s mother has told her daughter whimsical stories of her birth and early childhood, stories Meg had no reason to doubt since she has no memory of anything that happened before her fifth birthday. But at eight years old Meg May’s
Kelly Hager
May 19, 2013 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is seriously magical. The stories that Meg's mom tells are just amazing.

When she was little, Meg loved her mom's stories but after she repeated them and got hardcore made fun of in school, she went completely in the opposite direction and began to shun everything related to make-believe. And this makes sense, because all Meg wanted in the world was not to be laughed at anymore. (We can all understand that, right? Nobody wants to be That Kid.)

But her mom refuses to stop. It's not like
Cocktails and Books
I tend to form friendships with the books I read; some are acquaintances, some pass through friends and others are keepers. This book is a keeper. Unfortunately, because of that it's harder to write a review without sounding overly gushy. But if I have to sing the praises of a book then this one is it.

First, the pacing and atmosphere of this book is spot on. Goodin begins the book with what feels like magical realism and weaves it all the way through her narrative, making it an integral part of
Maria Goodin’s From the Kitchen of Half Truth is a haunting, often meandering story of one young woman’s quest to learn her roots — and it can be a little hard to define. On one hand, Goodin’s writing is reminiscent of Sarah Addison Allen: full of magical realism and incongruous details; lilting and lovely, like a cool evening breeze. In the next breath, we’re given Meg’s point of view — and she's so cold and odd and detached from life, and somehow clinging to this too-old-for-her drip of a boyf ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Dawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My first impression was "Like Water for Chocolate," starring white people. But there was none of the passion and magic and chaos.

This book was very controlled. Everything that happened was as tightly leashed as the main character. There were no real surprises and everything had a purpose or design. The only character that was multidimensional and interesting was the mother, and even she was a bit of a caricature.

This was a book that needed to go crazy. The story was about a woman who disliked
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 03, 2013 Meg - A Bookish Affair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013
Meg (love the name!) lives by reason and rationality. She's eschewed the fantasy world that her mother created for her because she believes that everything is better when it's grounded in fact. When her mother gets sick, Meg has a decision to make. Does she force the issue about her difficult past and origin or does she stay happy with her mother's created world? Is it always better to have the cold, hard facts or is ignorance always bliss? On its surface, I think we all want to believe that hon ...more
Nov 06, 2013 Bames rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Meg grew up in a very unique household. Her mother has always told her that she got the scar on her face because of a crab's pincer that somehow got snapped off while her mom was making crab cakes. The pincer hit her face and crawled under the furniture. Meg's mother also told her that her first tooth was so sharp that she could use it to open cans.

Meg believed all those stories as true and until she was
Apr 05, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some novels that grip you with a story so unique, yet so heart wrenching that you can’t stop reading. From the Kitchen of Half Truth was just such a novel for me. I was sadly supposed to be a part of a tour on this great new novel on Tuesday, but with work and kids, I didn’t finish the novel until Tuesday night. So you get my review now, a few days later!

Meg May is a twenty-one year old scientist, firmly rooted in the rational world. Her mother is her complete opposite, a loving woman
Apr 24, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it
Meg's mother is a compulsive and eccentric cook, who has told Meg all kinds of crazy stories about her birth and early childhood. Meg believed everything until her schoolfriends started calling her a liar. She can't remember anything herself, so when she realises that her mother's stories are not true, she feels quite lost. She gives up on fiction and grows up to become a brilliant scientist. Then when her mother is dying, she has the chance to find out about her real past... and it's quite dist ...more
Tammy O
Jan 19, 2014 Tammy O rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lesson in love, tolerance, appreciation and acceptance for the people we hold dear.

At first, I found myself growing irritated with Meg's mom and her stories, too. Then I learned--just as Meg did--that her mother's journey had shaped the story she had made for herself and Meg.

The stories of their times together in the kitchen and garden brought back warm memories of my own mother and our times together as I grew up. I rarely cry when I read books, but this one touched me. It reminded me
Feb 12, 2015 Lacaparouja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non pensavo che mi sarei così legata a questo libro. In verità non sapevo nemmeno esattamente cosa aspettarmi. Mi sono trovata davanti ad una sorpresa. Una bellissima sorpresa. Credo che sia uno di quei romanzi che entra dentro lentamente e si lascia amare senza bisogno di fronzoli. Probabilmente mi sarò sentita anche molto coinvolta personalmente, ma assicuro che mi ha lasciato davvero con il cuore gonfio di emozioni.
Feb 02, 2016 Allison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first 100 pages of this book was terrible. After reading the first paragraph it was clear to me that this was not a book for me. However, after I was almost halfway through I started to warm to it a bit. And when I say a bit I mean just a bit. I was frustrated that you never found out what disease the mother actually had. Also it was clear that her mother had mental instabilities and she probably should've sought professional help. The whole situation was just weird and it was interesting to ...more
Micah DeVries
Jan 12, 2016 Micah DeVries rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I had vey high expectations for this book and quickly realized while reading it that it was not going to be the beautifully written, magical masterpiece I had envisioned. The characters were so unbelievably one dimensional. The writing was very elementary and reminded me of something I would have read in high school. It was an easy read, but a drag to get through at the same time. I loved the story idea, but it fell flat for me. I wanted so much more from all the characters, but everything wa
Jenny Demonic
Jun 22, 2013 Jenny Demonic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look at both family dynamics and thought processes. Goodin's characters are not well-rounded, but that is what makes the book interesting; there are mysteries about each character throughout the chapters. While some are answered and some are not, the personality quirks are unique and flushed out by the novel's end. Scenes that bring up memories from my own personal life had this reader in tears at times, and laughing by the next page. "From the Kitchen of Half Truths" is a lesson i ...more
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Maria Goodin was born in the South-East of England. Her first novel, 'Nutmeg', was published in the UK in 2012, and was based on an award-winning short story of the same title. The novel was published later that year in Australia under the title of 'The Storyteller's Daughter', and is soon due to be released in the US under the title 'From the Kitchen of Half Truth'. Book deals have also been secu ...more
More about Maria Goodin...

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“I am the child I once was, and the adult I am today. I am all of my good points, and each of my bad. I am brave but afraid, healed but damaged, strong but helpless. I am everything I have admitted and all that I have denied. The person that I am right now in this moment is the product of every- thing I have ever been; the truth, the lies and everything in between.” 8 likes
“...time is not a willing captive. The days pass too soon, slipping through my fingers like sand. I grab for a moment, only to find it is no longer there. I take a photo with my mind, only to find it is already fading.” 3 likes
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