Patrice Sartor's Reviews > Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life

Spoon Fed by Kim Severson
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: memoir, parent-child, light-fluffy-and-or-easy-read, food, siblings, drugs-alcohol-and-or-crime
Read from January 17 to 26, 2012

I found this title very easy to read; Severson's writing flows easily and smoothly. I chuckled out loud in a few spots. I also liked reading the author's views on the 8 female cooks that "saved her life". I was unfamiliar with some of them, and enjoyed learning about them. The descriptions and discussions of food are solid, and I was tempted to try several of the included recipes as a result. I didn't, though a friend told me that all of the recipes are on Severson's web site. Cool.

What keeps this book from earning a higher score from me is the tone and repetition, and to a lesser degree the name-dropping (since that is to be expected in this book). Severson is an alcholic, a recovering one for most of the book--we do not get to read any detailed stories about the bad days of drinking, just generalities. Severson is a lesbian. Severson has (had?) mother issues, self-esteem and confidence problems, and went through a number of bad relationships before finding her wife. There is nothing wrong with any of this information on its own, and the way the author tells it does add to the overall story. Yet she repeats these things until I felt like I was being pounded over the head with them. YES, I get it. You cannot drink, you're an alcoholic!!! I didn't really understand why she felt there were difficulties with her mother, but I didn't need to hear about that repeatedly (or any of the other things) either.

A member of my book club pointed out a possible reason for this--several of these stories were originally published in the newspaper (she initially wrote for the Chronicle, and later The New York Times). If treated separately, I can see how the author would need to keep mentioning these aspects of her life. So maybe it's the editor's fault? I don't know, I just know it bugged me enough to keep it at 3 stars. :)

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