Joanna's Reviews > The School of Essential Ingredients

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
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Jul 06, 09

Read in July, 2009

A cabin weekend read, recommended (sadly) by NPR. I ended up reading parts aloud to Mara and Abby while we all read by the lake this weekend, because the writing was so florid (and because a grieving husband makes a very creepy tribute to his dead wife, involving her ashes and a cake served to her mourning friends).
The author made a rookie mistakes of writing from the perspectives of all of the characters while maintaining the florid, simile-laden language with every character, so you are forced to believe that everyone naturally has a orgasmic experience while holding a piece of raw garlic (sigh). Also, these are characters who are all-wise, all-knowing, all-patient and all-loving.
The one good thing is that it did make me want to go cook something.
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message 1: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Thank you for this review. I'm halfway through reading this and I'll probably end up giving this a 3- and I was trying to justify to myself what bothered me about the characters and you nailed it on the head. They're all written in the same voice, yet complete strangers. I suppose she did that to show the "magic" of food and the effect it could have on you, but it bothers me that all of these random characters get together and all develop the same magical touch with food as Lillian.


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