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Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,268 Ratings  ·  387 Reviews
This is a story about accepting the people we love — the people we have to love and the people we choose to love, the families we’re given and the families we make. It’s the story of two women adrift in New York, a widow and an almost-orphan, each searching for someone she’s lost. It’s the story of how, even in moments of grief and darkness, there are joys waiting nearby.

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Published April 16th 2013 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2013)
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Amy Ariel Well . . . as you can see from the reviews, that's controversial. I'm glad I read it. It's certainly flawed, I don't love all of the messages, and the…moreWell . . . as you can see from the reviews, that's controversial. I'm glad I read it. It's certainly flawed, I don't love all of the messages, and the characters are at times hard to like. However, it's an unusual story line and it's not as predictable as it seems like it will be for the first half of the book. Again, I'm glad I read it. But it wasn't fun. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 10, 2013 Amanda rated it did not like it
At the risk of sounding like a very grumpy and picky reader, I have to say that this was another disappointment.
I found this to be an untidy mish-mash of unbelievable characters whose motivations never became completely clear. Lorca is clearly very damaged, but the reasons for this don't seem obvious. While her mother may be cold and remote, she isn't really neglectful and Lorca herself has let her relationship with her father lapse. Also - what are the authorities doing for her? I can't believ
Jul 04, 2013 Noa rated it it was amazing
There are sentences in this book that will stay with me for a long time. Descriptions of human experience that are so deeply felt and so accurately relayed that you have these ahhh moments reading. For example, I loved when the older character was looking at her face in the mirror and wondering when she started looking so American, wondering if it was her use of English that reshaped her face. Jess's writing is sensual, she's got such a talent for plucking the right word and fastening it to anot ...more
May 13, 2013 Meryl rated it really liked it
When I visited Tel Aviv in 2008, I was treated to Shabbat dinner at the home of my friends' grandparents, Iraqi immigrants, who had fled to Israel in the 40s. It was one of the best meals I had ever eaten, pomegranates and persimmons mixed in with the rice and meat. I had eaten Persian food many times before, but this was even better. Upon my return, I searched the internet for an Iraqi Jewish restaurant in NYC, where I could once again taste these flavors. There was none to be found. Jessica So ...more
Canadian Reader
Aug 05, 2013 Canadian Reader rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 25, 2015 Rosanne rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I was hoping for more from this book after reading a review in a magazine. However, every character in this book is broken in some way and it is difficult to find a character with which to identify. Lacking that involvement, I always find myself at arm's length with the story. Some of the characters do change and grow and there are some lovely descriptions of ethnic food, but I just wasn't engaged with the the book for almost it's entire length. And, towards the end, the novel seems to be headed ...more
Pamela Barrett
May 02, 2013 Pamela Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great writing and food; what’s not to like? I loved this slowly unraveling story about an emotionally wounded teenaged girl, her distant self absorbed mother, and an elderly widow who is drawn into a complex relationship with the teenager. It is an exotic feast of words.

The girl, Lorca, tries to find favor with her mother by cooking her favorite foods; wanting to prove that she is worthy of her love. Lorca’s mother is a head chef and creative director at one of New York’s finest restaurants, an
Sep 10, 2013 Marlene rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club-pick
Jessica Soffer writes about Iraqi food, family, mentoring and underneath it all is a dark cloud of longing for motherly affection and love, while the main character, Lorca, cuts herself to feel that she is alive. She also touches briefly on an area of history which isn't talked about very much, the Farhud in Iraq when Jews were forced to leave or die, a scenario seen in many places but not often publicized about Iraq. Jessica writes too about aging with incredible insights about the diminishing ...more
Sep 11, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Taken directly from the book's description: "This is a story about accepting the people we love, the people we have to love and the people we choose to love, the families we're given and the families we make. It's the story of two women adrift in New York, a widow and an almost-orphan, each searching for someone she's lost. It's the story of how, even in moments of grief and darkness, there are joys waiting nearby." Well written.
Katharine Holden
Ugly, horrifying book that exploits a mentally ill teenage narrator to tell a not very original story. All the guff about sensual food imagery and the bonding of 2 generations talked about in the back cover copy isn't there. It's an ugly-for-the-sake-of-ugly story about a teenage girl who spends most of her time physically mutilating herself. Occasionally, she makes something nice to eat, but, mostly, she mutilates herself.
May 04, 2013 Lam rated it really liked it
In the interest of full disclosure, I have known Jessica Soffer since a few days after her birth and her parents even longer. Without prejudice, I can say that this is a wonderful book--beautifully written and heartfelt. And what an imagination Jess has -- to create a character like the mother, who is nothing like her own mother, and the girl, who is nothing like Jess. The prose is marvelous--I could get lost in the images, especially the food metaphors, which keep reminding the reader that this ...more
Aug 17, 2013 Kathe rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katia Nosenko
Sep 24, 2013 Katia Nosenko rated it it was ok
If not the recommendation in the Time magazine by Colum McCann I would never know about this book. But I very much enjoy McCann poetic prose, so I thought I give it a go. I cannot say unfortunately it's met my expectations. I do not want to criticise too much - it is a debut novel. And the girl who is writing it definitely has got determination and desire to tell the story. But i was not convinced it's achieved the bar which it has targeted at.

Firstly - what i liked - metaphoric language was qui
Renita D'Silva
Nov 08, 2014 Renita D'Silva rated it liked it
Okay, this review is going to be tough. This book made me angry and it made me cry. I loved some bits and loathed others. So,
The things I loved:
The writing. Absolutely awe-inspiring. I was going 'wow' and highlighting sections to re-read. The author's imagery, her food metaphors are simply beautiful.

The food. Glorious descriptions of food interspersed throughout the book.

The relationship between Lorca and Victoria was beautiful and emotional.

Dottie - I loved Dottie.

Blot -What a wonderful boy. Lo
May 03, 2013 Mara rated it really liked it
Shelves: heartstrings
I almost always enjoy a novel that is written by an author that obviously loves cooking and food. This book eloquently spans and connects women of different generations through the art of cooking and their individual neuroses.
Jan 09, 2015 Sheryl rated it really liked it
At first it seemed like it was heading to an obvious ending, but the author put in a couple of lovely twists at the end. I love the message about the importance of chosen family.
Apr 19, 2014 Becky rated it liked it

Lorca, Victoria and Blot, three damaged people, populate this novel that touches on Iraq, cutting and drug addiction leavened by lies, secrets and poor parenting. Ultimately hopeful, the book drags a bit after many chapters of discouraged, depressed people. I was happy to see the end.
The three main characters, Lorca’s mother and Victoria’s “best friend” Dottie are all clearly drawn. Each is likeable except for Lorca’s mother who is clearly the vi
Noor Al-Zubaidi
Dec 03, 2013 Noor Al-Zubaidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book because a website somewhere recommended it as one of the best books of 2013, and what caught my eye was the word 'masgouf' in italics somewhere in the review, my eyes lingered there not believing that there's this book here, and it's about an Iraqi dish and my mind was set. I was going to read it no matter how sappy or cliche it would be.

It's nothing like I imagined it would be, it's about food and so much more. It's about a daughter wanting to find her way into her
Laura Hogensen
Sep 25, 2013 Laura Hogensen rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
When I started this book, I thought I could guess the direction it was going - troubled girl, distant mother, absent father, boy love interest that all come together happily in the end. This book surprised me by being far deeper and more poignant than I expected. Soffer's main character, Lorca, is struggling to find her identity as an individual. This is made incredibly difficult by her distant, self-absorbed, emotionally frigid, narcissistic mother (no love lost on this character from me). Lorc ...more
Jul 05, 2014 Lisa rated it did not like it
I only made it through p. 10 so I have no idea if there are redeeming pieces to this book. What I read was twisted and depressing. (And not easy to follow for the few pages I read. I actually couldn't understand some of the innuendos. For example, the character was accused of using drugs but she had a knife to her thigh. Having no exposure to either drugs or cutters, I was confused and thought maybe she really was a drug addict until I comprehended from the thrill she got from burning her hands. ...more
Tricia Douglas
Jun 16, 2013 Tricia Douglas rated it really liked it
A different kind of book about a young girl looking for love within her disfunctional family. Lorca is a cutter who covers up her depression and lack of family attention by mutilating herself. She thinks that if she can find her mother's adoptive parents things will be better. At first I was disappointed in the perdictability of the story, but the last 50 pages threw everything I thought I'd figured out the window. This is Soffer's first novel and even though I didn't like most of the characters ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it
Lorca, a 15 year old daughter of a chef is a cutter. Her mother thinks that ignoring her cutting will make her stop. Her mother does not show her love either. Lorca's parents are divorced and she hasn't seen her father in two years. Lorca's mother has decided to send her to boarding school after she is suspended from school. Lorca thinks that if she can make her mother's favorite meal and find her mother's birth mother that her mother will love her. Lorca finds Blot who works in a bookstore and ...more
Martina Lennon
Feb 10, 2016 Martina Lennon rated it really liked it
All about attachment and loss, the mother who couldn't love as she wasn't loved by her own birth mother and the consequences of her actions. All Lorca wanted was love and that was not forthcoming at home. She tried to reach her mother, poor child. Thank god for the kindness of strangers.
Not at all what I expected. I thought I might like the food aspect, but even that didn't make me like the book a lot. The characters left a lot of questions in my mind. The young girl, Lorca, who mutilated herself. Lorca's mother who was cold, un-loving, and self-centered. Victoria, an Iraqi-Jewish immigrant who had given up her daughter for adoption many years ago. These were complex characters but I didn't think they were fully developed and definitely not sympathetic. Although the writing was ...more
Geraldine O'donnell
Mar 12, 2015 Geraldine O'donnell marked it as abandoned
Too appalling for words.
Listened to audio at work.

My feelings about the book are complicated. The two main narrators are people in pain. One is an elderly woman whose husband dies just as the book opens. The other is a 15 year old girl who has a long history of self-harm, an absent ineffective father, and a cold, narcissistic mother.

I ordinarily like food-and-cooking books, but this one was quite heavy.

"...forgiveness was born from loss. It required giving up and moving past dark corners where grudges, wrapped up in d
Feb 10, 2014 Terri rated it really liked it
Jessica Soffer has a way with words, a beautiful, deep, heart wrenching way with words. Each sentence is a feast. Add to that a great story about fascinating characters and you have Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

Lorca lives with her mother, "an enigma, fickle, unknowable, like a giant fish. She loved me in fits and spurts."

Lorca, named for the poet, Federico García Lorca, and her mother leave New Hampshire and move in with Aunt Lou in New York, "Things pretty much stayed the same from then on.
Oct 07, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
This was a story about family and acceptance. It is told from the point of views of 14 year old Lorca and elderly Victoria, with a few chapters by Victoria's husband Joseph. Lorca is a young girl who is seeking love from her mother, a chef in NYC. In an attempt to deal with her feelings about her mom she has taken to cutting and burning herself. After her mother finds out she enrolls Lorca in a boarding school. In an attempt to avoid this, Lorca decides that if she can make her mother's favorite ...more
Bridgette Guerzon Mills
Wow, just finished this as I couldn't put it down. Painful to read at times, but beautifully written.
Sandown Public
Utterly heartwrenching.
Lorca lives with her workaholic restaurateur mother and aunt in NYC, having left her father in NH after the divorce. In constant attempts to gain favor with her mother, she thinks in terms of food nearly constantly. She embarks on a mission to learn how to make her mother's favorite dish in one last attempt to please her mother and stop her from sending her to boarding school after being caught cutting in the school restroom.
Victoria is the Iraqi Jew former restaurateur wh
Jul 16, 2015 sanaz rated it it was ok
I am happy that at last I finished this book. it was unnecessarily long, full of cheesy iterations of sentiments that you could express with a few words and unable to make you care for its characters. You could only read a sentence out of each paragraph and make it a 100 page book instead of 480. I thought paying attention to people and foods who aren't always star of the books is brilliant but you need to tell a fascinating story to make these settings shine!
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JESSICA SOFFER earned her MFA at Hunter College, where she was a Hertog Fellow. Her work has appeared in Granta, Vogue and the New York Times, among other publications. Her father, a painter and sculptor, emigrated from Iraq to the US in the late 1940s. She teaches fiction at Connecticut College and lives in New York City.
More about Jessica Soffer...

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“I had a lump in my throat the size of a bundt cake pan.” 4 likes
“I wondered if everyone had a secret like this, something slightly wretched, bent and corroded with time, like a lost key that might not even unlock anything anymore. And if, in the end, it might be the only thing that mattered.” 2 likes
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