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Turning Tables

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3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  569 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Erin Edwards is an up-and-coming marketing exec who frequents New York’s hippest eateries—until the tables are turned. Now, newly unemployed, Erin only has days to transform herself into a first-class server at one of Manhattan’s top restaurants. Can she make it in a world where survival is all about…

Life behind the apron is even worse than Erin imagined—within days she f
...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Bantam Discovery (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 893)
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Christina
An amusing and entertaining novel, however the relationships fell a little flat on me. I found there was no connection between Erin and Phil, Erin and Daniel... there was no basis, no believability, just another subplot or two to spice up the story. The best friend was more of a filler than anything else - just a character brought in to get the ball rolling again, and then forgotten for another 200 pages. Not so best-friendly after all.

That aside, I loved the restaurant characters. They were fl
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Marissa Hughes
A fun quick read for anyone who has worked in the service industry. Specially those who have worked for overzealous Italian restaurateurs. I have worked for a male version of Gina's character and her portrayal was pretty spot on. Having spent the last 6 years of my life waiting tables in small upscale restaurants the characters are easy to relate to.

If you are looking for a quick read with insight to the life of a food server this book did a pretty good job of capturing it.
Jacqueline
I saw a review that one of my friends on Goodreads wrote about this book and it caught my interest as something I might enjoy reading. As soon as I started reading it, it sounded vaguely familiar to me, and it turns out I read it before, about 5+ years ago. I didn't remember much of the storyline, but character names seemed familiar, especially Erin's dog Rocket, and gradually I pieced it together as more than just a coincidence. I ended up reading the whole book again, as I didn't remember much ...more
Marc
I'm of two minds when it comes to Turning Tables. As a book about restaurants, it's very good. As a chick-lit book, it's all right.

I used to work at a place that had a restaurant as a part of it. I had to deal with my co-workers and people over there many times and go in the kitchen so I know how it is. While I never worked in the restaurant, I knew some of the things that took place there. That's all captured perfectly. If you want to know what's it like to work in a restaurant, read this book.
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Gail
It's a familiar story: Erin Edwards is "downsized" from her marketing firm and without a job for months. A friend of the family puts in a good word for her at Roulette, a very upscale Manhattan eatery. Brazening through a concocted resume, she shows up to part of the wait-staff. Part slavery, part humiliation, part intuitive sales counselor, she is both adopted and reviled by the various chefs, waiters, bar tenders, and regular customers. The tips are exceptionally good and she continues to lear ...more
Sarah
During my ill-fated but lucrative time at Gratzi (during which I wore exactly the uniform depicted on the cover, by the by), I had many of the experiences depicted in this book, including strangely difficult and complicated sidework, a preposterous chef and yet more preposterous manager, and a weird symbiotic relationship with a gay uberwaiter who was constantly baffled by my ineptitude but nonetheless extremely gossipy and supportive. However, I didn't ever have sex with a hot prep cook in the ...more
Melissa
Maybe you've read this one before...

Could have been called Devil Eats Prada or Waitress Diaries or Waitress in the Fast Lane or Twin Entrees of Manhattan.

Story is annoyingly familiar. Young gal about town is sidetracked from a fabulous career in Gotham, takes job of lesser esteem for sake of paying bills. Unbeknownst to her, she has just sold her soul to devil in disguise. Gal scrambles for her dignity as she attempts in vain to please people around her. Finds temptation on side, has not-so-di
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Martha
Okay so I read 2 books about waiting tables back to back. This one really struck close to home because I have been an over-educated waiter and bartender. I also have worked for people who think they can treat you badly, talk to you like you are stupid and still expect you to work hard for THEIR business. It's amazing. Anyway, this book was very smart, very funny and very true to form as to what the restaurant business is like. Yes, you get addicted to the money and no, there is nothing glamorous ...more
Kay
I don't know what made me keep reading this book to the end. Never having been a waitress, I had no experience that would allow me to compare my working life with Erin's. But if waiting tables is anything like waitressing at the Roulette, I'm glad I never worked in a restaurant. Except for a very few, the staff were unfriendly, mean-spirited, unhelpful,just plain miserable -- even more so than some of the ungrateful, surly clientele. Maybe I continued to read in the hope that Erin would wise up ...more
Colin
Meh. I got this as an Advance Reader Copy back in 2008, but didn't get around to reading it until now (I read it in a day and a half). It's a bit of fluff reading - a semi-fictional account of what it's like waiting tables at an upscale Manhattan restaurant. It gives a pretty vivid account of the life - what it's like to work in the restaurant biz (and really, whether 5-star or neighborhood pizzeria, there are commonalities to the experience), but not great literature by any means.
Of interest
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Elizabeth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
I liked this book. It was kind of like The Devil Wears Prada except the focus was on fine restaurants rather than the clothing industry. The premise is that Erin has been laid off from her marketing job and takes a position in a fine dining establishment (temporarily) to offset her bills. She has no previous experience and ends up catering to the bosses from hell. Meanwhile, her personal life is a crazy mess. It was a quick fun read. I found it to be good medicine after reading a heavy hitting d ...more
Mercedes
This is nice book to read especially for those thinking about venturing into the interim waiting tables business before moving on. It is funny but predictable.
Juliann
It's kind of fun, so far. . . Similar in feel to The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada (language more like Nanny Diaries, btw.) but this is an insider's view of a big wig New York restaurant and its owners and clientèle. Of course, being a New York-o-phile, I'm eating it up. . .

Ok, update. I've finished it and it was just kind of fun. I enjoyed hearing the inside scoop on waiting at a bigtime restaurant and I think I'll be more sympathetic to all wait staff in the future, BUT it wasn't gre
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Sylvia
Prob closer to 3.5 stars. Easy to read and interesting reading about the restaurant world.
Ellen Garfield
Fun read! Great behind the scenes look at life in an upscale restaurant.
Alissa
A fun piece of chick-lit which takes you behind the scenes of waiting tables at an exclusive restaurant.

After Erin is downsized from her job as marketing exec, she can’t find something else so out of desperation (and through family connections) she gets a job as a server at one of Manhatten’s top new restaurants. So there’s plenty of fun as Erin tries to prove herself as a server and finds a little love along the way (will it be in the kitchen with the cute sous chef or out on the floor with a h
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Nicky
Written by sisters who have been wait staff at really high end restaurants. As a novel it is just ok, I thought the dog storyline was a bit of an afterthought woven in for a long time just to eventually have two people meet up again, and the dating across social lines part of the plot was a bit labored. But knowing it is based on real things that happened at their jobs, it is a neat glimpse at the behind the scenes in the service industry, and a bit of a testimonial about what skills and insight ...more
Sam
Wow...who knew life in the restaurant business could be filled with so much drama. All but a few of the waiters were mean-spirited. The chef was demeaning and always yelling. The owners were controlling and only cared about themselves and how they were perceived in the high class restaurant business. Even though, I really enjoyed the book. I've never had any experience as a waitress (after reading this book, I'm glad I haven't) but the author pulled me in and I had a hard time putting the book d ...more
Jessica
Highly satisfying chick-lit
Margherita Dolcevita
Tutto sommato non è male, inizia un po' lentamente e la virata "sentimentale" avviene un po' troppo frettolosamente, ma è divertente, romantico e piacevole. Alcuni personaggi sono un po' troppo stereotipati e quindi un po' piatti. Viene da chiedersi da dove abbiano tirato fuori il titolo "Omelette" i traduttori italiani, visto che non si parla di frittate, non si parla di cucina francese, il titolo originale è completamente diverso e che il ristorante semmai si chiama "Roulette", mistero della f ...more
Lee
What made this "happily ever after" story stand out from others is the storyline itself. Much as "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Nanny Diaries" provided an inside look into the worlds of magazine publishing and NYC nanny-ing, this offers a glimpse of the waiter-ing world to those of us who haven't ever done it...and though I'm sure there's a bit of stereotyping and dramatic license included, the restaurant world makes an interesting backdrop for the main character and her romantic exploits. Lik ...more
Meaghan
hilarious. loved this story and the characters and the behind the scenes look at waitressing in a fancy restaurant in nyc.
Jessica
Apr 22, 2008 Jessica rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chick lit fans
Turning Tables is your typical chick-lit book about a former marketing exec who ends up waiting tables when she can't find another marketing job. Erin sucks at first and then actually begins to get the hang of things, while also meeting the guy of her dreams. She learns a lot about waiting tables, but even more about herself and life. Eventually she uses everything she's learned to nail the perfect job. Fun, light-hearted and a quick "feel-good" read.
Rhonda
Having friends and a spouse who works in the food industry, I found "Turning Tables" entertaining and at least partially true.

When she complained of being run all over the restaurant and no tips, I have heard my friends complain of the same thing so there were quite a few grains of truth in this book.

The book had me laughing outloud quite a few times and feeling sorry for the lead character at other times.

Well worth the read.
Beckie
i received this book for free from bookpage like two years ago and i just got around to reading it. it is an 'advance reading copy' and went on sale 03/25/08. it is by heather & rose macdowell. it was a very quick read, yet engaging. it was like the devil wears prada but in the restaurant business. anyone who has eaten out at a sit-down restaurant, whether casual or fancy, will be able to identify with this book.
Katherine
I have had this book for awhile and picked up this month since it fit into one of my group challenges. I was happily surprised at what a fun read it was. Looking into the world of elite restaurants and testy chefs was a nice change from my usual. The romance could have been a little deeper and the ending a little less flat. I enjoyed it and would read another by these twin sisters.
Taylor
I found myself really enjoying this book, despite all the bad reviews. Like others have said, this is definitely a novel for those who have had experience in the service industry. It's not a life changing story, but an entertaining narrative of what it's really like to have to wait on people in a world where people who still believe the caste system still exists.
Jennie
This book was really a fun read. The main character is a marketing executive who loses her job and goes to work in one of the top restaurants in NY city, as a waitress. It's all about how she adjusts to the new lifestyle and there is romance thrown in too. For someone who has never worked in food service it was a great behind-the-scenes look. A fun beach read!
Wysterria
May 13, 2008 Wysterria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's been a waitress or a public servant of any kind
Shelves: humor
a girl used to making good money as a marketer must 'reduce herself' to waiting tables. though she still makes good money since it is a ritzy restaurant (average check running $500), she feels like an average working class joe. and she puts up with HELL from her bosses and customers. if you have ever waitressed you will relate to this character on some level.
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