The Storyteller's Daughter
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The Storyteller's Daughter

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  865 ratings  ·  212 reviews
Meg May can't remember anything about her early childhood but her cookery-obsessed, fairytale-telling mother has filled her in on all the important details. Meg knows that her father was a French chef who died in a tragic pastry-making accident; that as a premature baby she was put on a sunny windowsill to ripen; and that the scar on her cheek was the result of a nasty nip...more
Paperback, Australian Edition, 272 pages
Published December 1st 2012 by Allen & Unwin Australia (first published January 1st 2012)
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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 sug...more
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...more
Diane S.
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...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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Deborah Swift
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...more
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...more
Tiffani Long
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
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
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...more
Kelly Hager
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...more
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...more
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
Meg - A Bookish Affair
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
very light fare, almost written like for teens or younger, but for adults. about a young woman who doesn't know her history, father, or why her mother seems to live in a fairy tale world. so some big holes in the plot, like she is a studying for phd in genetics, but seemingly has never heard of the internet or how to do research. but that put aside, kind of a lovely story of a young person growing and becoming adult through empathy and tolerance. kind of neat too, looking at english suburban lif...more
I loved this book! It's a nice story - which sounds weird - "nice" but it really is. Meg's mother is weird. She lives in a fantasy world and tells the craziest stories. At age 8 Meg told a story at school about runner beans getting up and running away and her classmates gave her weird looks and then and there she decided to ground herself in science and reality and not in her mother's crazy stories. The problem is, all Meg remembers are the crazy stories that her mother told her about her childh...more
Nancy Baker
Simmer at a Low Heat
From the Kitchen of Half Truth emerges a beautiful story of a mother\'s love. Seductively hidden amid the magical, mystical stories she has created for her daughter all of her life, is hidden the truth of Valerie\'s life -- and the hurt, rejection and abuse have caused her to create a world for her daughter void of anything but fantasy, flavors and laughter. Daughter Meg struggles with the endless imaginery stories of her childhood and upon the impending death of her mother...more
I really liked this book. It was sweet and had an ending that I didn't see coming. That's always a plus for me, as I have periods of reading nothing but tripe that are really little more than bodice rippers in disguise. But what the heck...
Anyway, back to this book. It was worth a read and I recommend it. It made me cry here and there and that is always a plus. Good read (no theft of trademark intended) here.
I loved the "tall tales" in this story!

Meg tries to piece together the tales she's been told all her life by her mother regarding Meg's birth and childhood. Most tales have to do with food as Meg's mother, Valerie, is a woman who loves nothing more than to cook copious amounts of food in her kitchen. In fact, Meg often has no idea what her mother does with all that food.

Meg has grown up to be a scientist, with a scientific no-nonsense boyfriend, and she realizes that most of her "memories" just...more
If you are a fan of Sarah Addison Allen you will definitely love this book. Maria Goodin writes a heart-warming story about the relationship between mother and daughter with a twist of magic mixed in. You will ponder over this book long after you read the last page. One of the best books I've read so far this year.
Shari Strider
I belong to two books club, and both read a variety of books that I enjoy for the most part. But many times, the themes are serious and thought-provoking with difficult or sad endings. So,once in a while I like to read books that I consider light and that have a happy ending. So, I picked up this book thinking it would be a light read. And it was, sort of. This is a very human book. It is about a mother and daughter relationship with the daughter struggling to understand who she is. The characte...more
I couldn't decide whether to give this book 3 stars or of this book I really liked and other parts I just's a toss up, but I definitely would recommend this book.
This is the story of Meg, who is trying to find out what is "real" about her childhood. She grew up listening to her mother's "fairytale" version of her life and now she wants answers. Meg's mother is sick and won't be around for long so Meg must decide how hard to push to find out her life's reality.
This book make...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.” 7 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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