Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Die unverhofften Zutaten des Glücks” as Want to Read:
Die unverhofften Zutaten des Glücks
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt* *Different edition

Die unverhofften Zutaten des Glücks

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  2,220 ratings  ·  456 reviews
Ein Rezept zum Verlieben

Aus einer Laune heraus schreibt die Britin Eve dem amerikanischen Bestsellerautor Jack Cooper einen Leserbrief. Und er antwortet! So beginnt eine wunderbare Freundschaft. Beide teilen die große Leidenschaft für das Kochen und gutes Essen – und beide stecken mitten in einer existenziellen Lebenskrise. Sie spenden sich gegenseitig vorsichtig Trost und
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published by Heyne (first published March 3rd 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,220 ratings  ·  456 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Die unverhofften Zutaten des Glücks
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Light, quick read that made me want to cook - until I remembered I don't like to cook.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
This was a perfectly pleasant story about a man and a woman and their correspondence about life and food and how it gives both of them the strength to make the changes they need to make in their lives. I saw a lot of comparisons to The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, but there was nowhere near that same depth. It was cute but forgettable. Recommended for: people who like books with pretty covers. ...more
Thyago | MrsMargotBlog
I enjoyed reading this, I felt a great empathy for Eve, she's a lot like me character, lives in anxiety, love to cook and read, I think it describes me perfectly.
I don't think it's a book very pretentious, it is a simple, very real history, problems and common stories in many families. The typical conflict of a mother who always had a distance with her daughter and did not relate to the same and that when she decides to get married, the mother begins a reflectio
Connie G
British Eve Petworth writes a fan letter to Jackson Cooper, a popular American detective fiction author. In this part-epistolary novel they find a shared love of gourmet cooking. Jack and Eve both are also facing midlife challenges. As the novel progresses and they get to know each other, their letters get more personal.

Jack is dealing with writer's block, his second divorce, and meeting women. There are many humorous moments in Jack's life especially when he plans elaborate dinners, but his new
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads-won
I received a copy of this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

How do you take a simple, ordinary, every day storyline and turn it into something spectacular? Ask Deborah McKinlay. She knows.

"That Part Was True" is an amazing journey of "normal", told in such a real way that you can't help but feel every ounce of emotion. The happiness, the sadness... it's all there.

I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this book. 10 pages in, and my thoughts were "At least it's easy to read" (the writing is
Deborah Ideiosepius
This was a gracefully written thoroughly enjoyable book; Eve is a comfortably well off but lonely and isolated Englishwomen, one day she picks a book up at random in a charity store and enjoys it so much she writes to the author.... Jack is the author, an American whose most recent wife just left him. Superficially successful, he is to a large extent aimless and when he writes back to Eve a rather charming correspondence commences

While we follow Jack and Eve's stories separately the unifying dia
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letters, food and England - 3 of my favorite elements of a good story.
Sharon Redfern
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Eve Petworth writes a fan letter to an Jackson Cooper about a scene in one of his books, it begins a back and forth correspondence between them. Their letters mainly focus on food and cooking but gradually personal bits start to be included and they share the things going on in their lives with each other. Plans to meet in person keep being offered but they never work out. Right up to the last page, it's unclear whether these two will ever meet, even as they become more and more important t ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeous little novel that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy. It's a sweet exploration of love and identity.

** disclosure: I work for the publisher & had early access to this title **
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light and fun and life-affirming. This novel shows that middle-aged people can reinvent themselves.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason this is jn my Goodreads records, though I can’t begin to imagine why or how. I honestly have no recollection of reading this book or why I only rated it one star. From reading the other one star reviews on here and Amazon, I suppose I must’ve had issues with the main characters and their relationship.
Cleopatra  Pullen
This is one of those books where what as much understanding comes from the unsaid parts as the bits the reader is privy to.

Eve Petworth, a wealthy privileged middle-aged English woman writes a letter to American author, Jackson Cooper, after reading one of his novels. They have a meeting of minds over food in their short missives across the Atlantic. Both have reached a stage in their lives where they realise things have to change but neither seem to be able to work out what they need to do to a
Blodeuedd Finland
A lovely book that was just so well written. The kind of prose that just flows, and you do not know why, but it's quite lovely.

It's the story of Eve who has always stayed in the background. Shy, bullied by her own mother, and with a rocky relationship with her daughter. Izzy whom I first liked at the end. When it all came together, forgiveness and understanding.

And it's the story of Jack, a writer struggling to write, who loves food, and who goes from woman to woman.

Last it is the story of how t
Heather Alderman
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book off the Barnes and Noble Bargain Books table recently wanting a quick, light read at the holidays. That was pretty much what I got. The characters were a bit annoying at times, but overall, I liked their development and how their stories came together.
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The best part for me of “That part was true” was that it is a fast and easy read. The significance of the title was totally lost on me. I checked during my reading but did not discover what part was true, and what part wasn’t.

The characters, well-off and gentle Eve, and self-centred and handsome Jack Cooper, meet over their correspondence. Do people really spend the cost of a postcard or letter to write one sentence, which is what happened at times? At other times, there was disclosure, which fr
Pamela Small
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful delicacy of a read. Yes, perhaps a chick read in that it may appeal more to female audiences, but not necessarily, and it certainly is not a flimsy or lightweight one! The thematic messages are compelling and universal. It is not "a coming of age" novel in the traditional sense, but it definitely is so - to middle age! Therefore, I think the audience who will appreciate this lovely,lyrical prose will be readers aged over 30! The themes of friendship, love and loss, regrets, and emot ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This storyline and all the characters jumped right off the page at me and made me love them right from the first page. All the twists and turns made it seem like a real life story with all the bumps and curvy roads we have to take sometimes and gives a little bit of insight on how we should be embracing it.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up at the Dollar Tree on a whim (who knew they sold books?). I had just finished reading a rather long and dark novel and wanted something quick and light to read next. This book was a surprise. Not only was it easy and entertaining, but it had a lot of heart. The characters were rich and wonderfully flawed humans trying to find their way through life. I connected with them instantly and was sad to leave them at the end. I also learned a few things along the way. This was just ...more
I wanted to like this book, and I think I succeeded in liking half of it. Eve's family dynamic was one of the more redeeming qualities of this book. I found comfort in her finding herself and making her roll in the life of her daughter as she found herself in her father's life. What, or rather who, I found less redeemable was Jack. Did he truly learn anything from his correspondence or is his journey of self improvement still just dependent on a female's influence? Also, they never really lied t ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woman in England writes to an author in the US to say how much she liked his book and they start a written correspondence.
They become friends through writing about books and cooking and as each have difficulties in their lives they always have each other to look forward to writing about what they love in life.
I really enjoyed this book.
L-J Johnson
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely little book. An American writer and an Englishwoman correspond about food and their lives. Sections alternate between the correspondence, his life, and her life. The writing was often beautiful and the story felt true and real to me throughout. It made me think about how many other hidden gems there are out there.
Janet Cooke
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the beginning, I thought Julie&Julia.
It was that sort of feel as I started to read.
Once again I was fooled. This is a story of growth and
Recently we hear so much of young people being taught
through "adulting".
Those of us who are older have long been training for
adulthood in terms of decades; learning to take responsibility for our own
happiness has taken some of us our full lifetime.
A reader can see that here.
Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of food is mentioned in the book. I'm hungry now.
But besides that, book was light, simple and relaxing.
Martha Bullen
I received an advance copy of this novel at BEA. It features an image of the Eiffel Tower on the cover with tulips in the foreground, so I thought it would make a good choice for reading on vacation or during a lazy summer day. I was also drawn to the back cover description, which involves a growing friendship between a bestselling American author, Jackson Cooper, and an Englishwoman, Eve Petworth.

The story begins when Eve writes Jackson a fan letter and he replies. They discover they share a lo
Sheila DeChantal
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found McKinlay’s writing so delicious I had to say some of the lines out loud just to savor them on my tongue ~ Sheila

Eve Petworth finds her 40′s to be a bit of a rocky road. Living in London on her own after a divorce, and struggling as her own adult daughter is about to be married and leaning a little too hard on Eve, Eve takes solace in books written by a popular American Novelist, Jackson Cooper. When Eve writes to Cooper informing him of her appreciation of his books and comparing one of
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read by Deborah McKinlay and it was AMAZING! It was like a present--beautiful writing and engaging characters all wrapped up with a perfect ending in just over 200 pages. This novel is about the power of words--how we use them to tell a story, to heal ourselves and those around us, even to help us find love. When 46-year-old British Eve Petworth sends a fan letter to Jackson Cooper, a slightly older successful American author, an unlikely friendship develops that chan ...more
Mary Haney
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
I'm a sucker for a great cover. Unfortunately, not all great covers open to great reads. I know that, but still...

I almost missed this little gem because of that ho-hum, no-color cover. It looked all hearts-and-flowers, sugary romance, and, though I enjoy a good romance with complications and complex relationships, sugar-sweet is not my style. What a delightful surprise awaited me.

This is a lively read, short, but it packs a lot of plot into very few pages. There is the famous guy-novel writer o
Jane G Meyer
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adultfiction
It's not often that I have an afternoon to pass with just a book. But yesterday, a sweltering 104 degree day, proved me wrong. All I could do was drink ice water and read...

What a delight to meander through this novel. An unpredictable, but simple plot, with well rounded characters and great movement and pacing through the story. I love good food, and real, handwritten letters, so this story personally appealed to me, and I especially appreciated the character building that seemed all together h
British reader Eve Petworth writes a letter to American author Jackson Cooper and thus begins the "relationship". Both have reached a stage in their lives where they must change but are not quite sure how to go down their paths. A lovely communication/friendship develops through a beautiful correspondence between the two.

Eve must learn how to manage her relationship with her A-type personality daughter and manage her memoirs of her deceased mother. Jackson is at a milestone in his life and must
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a strange little book. Eve writes a letter to a writer, Jack. At first, the setup seems to be heading for a romantic ending for the two of them - but then I felt it lost its way.

The first confusion was that they were writing real letters, not emails - and yet often, the quoted text was short, like an email. Were they writing on scraps of paper hardly worth posting, or were those just excerpts? Eventually I decided they were excerpts, and that the author must be missing out large chunks and
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Anastacia
  • The Greatest Love Story of All Time
  • Ghosts of Harvard
  • Mrs. Sinclair's Suitcase
  • Jo & Laurie
  • The Courtesan and the Samurai (The Shogun Quartet #3)
  • Proteger a México
  • Hijos Gordos
  • The Beachcomber
  • La Salud de La Poblacion: Hacia Una Nueva Salud Publica
  • The Octopus and I
  • From the Ashes
  • Devoted
  • The Moment of Letting Go
  • The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice
  • A Winter Kiss on Rochester Mews (Lonely Hearts Bookshop, #4)
  • The Writing On The Wall
  • Cherry Beach
See similar books…
Deborah McKinlay has published half a dozen non-fiction titles in the UK, and her books have been translated into numerous languages. Her work has appeared in British Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire. She lives in South West England. The View from Here is her first novel.

Related Articles

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
57 likes · 12 comments
“Se ficar esperando a vida o tirar da cama toda manhã, vai ter de esperar um bom tempo.” 0 likes
“Mas talvez prazeres tardios sejam ainda mais doces por conta da espera.” 0 likes
More quotes…