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Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  5,659 ratings  ·  441 reviews
The compulsively readable memoir of a woman at war—with herself, with her body, and with food—while working her way through the underbelly of New York City’s glamorous culinary scene.

Hannah Howard is a Columbia University freshman when she lands a hostess job at Picholine, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan. Eighteen years old and eager to learn, she’s invigorated
Hardcover, 235 pages
Published April 1st 2018 by Little A
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Aly Based on her Instagram, it looks like she's very happily engaged :)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  5,659 ratings  ·  441 reviews

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Larry H
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars, rounded up.

"Life is big and scary. Food is constant, safe, dependable."

Growing up in Baltimore, Hannah Howard always loved and appreciated food—ethnic and gourmet specialties as well as comfort food. Her mother was always dieting, always trying to shed those stubborn pounds, and Hannah, who was always taller and more amply proportioned than her classmates, inherited those struggles. She wanted to be popular, to be pretty, to be able to wear different clothes, but she couldn't outrun
Hmmm...this was less a rating than a compromise. In the first few chapters, I was captivated. "Yes, exactly that," I thought of the perfect descriptions of food, of eating automatically, compulsively, and the loathing of self and body that follows. The inside look at restaurants and restaurant people interested me enough to hold my attention. Toward the end, I had grown weary of the repetition of poor relationship choices and was counting pages left to just have it finished.

A lot to like, but
Jeannette Noel

Yikes. This was excruciating. Short little (maybe?) sentences, and weird run on sentences filled this kindle first read. This is unfortunately a memoir about a sad little rich girl with an eating disorder. She continuously explains the obvious, but on the flipside, throws a million new people into or out of the story with no explanation. It reads like talking to a condescending teenager. Maybe that's acceptable because it is a memoir?
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow. An honest account of a lover of food and life.
If you like watching the food channel, you will like this book. Author seems totally relatable. Great book.
Thank you to author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hi Hannahleh.

I do not think I am your typical demographic but your book has been read…by me, one of those older gentlemen you refer to.

There IS something about older men, as you state, but I do not know what it is.

I forgot.

So, young lady, let’s share.

I was looking in my diary and I noticed that about eight months ago I weighed 148 pounds and I am gushing over it in my notes. I have lost about seventeen pounds and I am proud of myself.

No one else is aware of it but as I am diminishing I am
Mar 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As a woman who has an eating disorder this book was an incredibly disappointing. Hannah is obsessed with food, okay great. She thinks about food all the time. She wants to be skinny and hates her body. There is no actual substance to the character nor the book nor does there actually seem to be a point to the book. In one paragraph Hannah is raped and the author goes from food to rape to food again. At no time is there any introspective look at how she feels or how this hurts her it just happens ...more
Jennifer Solheim
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It would be simple and true to say that FEAST was delicious, that I devoured it in one sitting. Howard's writing about food is a sensual pleasure, and her stories about coming of age in New York and the maniacal pace of restaurant life are vivid and engrossing. But particular to this book, in this moment, is the way that Howard represents the treatment of women in the restaurant world. Simmering under the surface of this memoir about food, eating disorders, and love is Howard's candid portrayal ...more
Nancy Mendelson
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading an advance copy of Feast. Devoured it, actually. Author, Hannah Howard is a magnificent storyteller.
She took me on a journey inside her head, her heart, and bared her soul with such compelling generosity. Her eerily accurate descriptions of the self destructive thinking and false perceptions that come with anorexia and body dysmorphia were so much like my own experiences with these insidious disorders, it was strangely comforting.
I binged with her, purged with her, loved
Mary Beth Faba
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this last night (I got it from Amazon First Reads on Thursday and flew through it). This book is about Hannah, a high schooler and then a college student and then a freshly-graduated-newly-employed girl who is obsessed with food. She struggles with binging and purging, anorexia, codependency, self worth, and addiction. This book is beautiful and raw and heartbreaking and so, so real. Her writing flows like currents in a river- I was along for the ride and couldn’t stop reading.

Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Feast is a revelation for anyone who's ever looked in the mirror. Whether it was a physical mirror or a metaphorical mirror, whether you liked what you saw or you didn't, this powerful debut resonates. Howard is courageous and lyrical, her words in turn comforting and heartbreaking. Feast is full of giggles when you need them and goosebumps when you least expect them. I made the mistake of starting the book before bed and didn't fall sleep until I'd finished it—Feast is a book to devour.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was a good read from the start if you are a kitchen food lover or anything related to food you have the right book to start reading.
I love cooking and as a mother I always try to find the most organic food for my kids I want them to have a great growing and healthy lifestyle and the book has inspired me in a lot of ways to continue doing it.
I know that is so much easier to eat fast food and the thought of organic eating is harder but that is the image we create inside our gead because we
Judith Perlin
Mar 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not a good read

Self created angst by a young woman who doesn't have a clue about what life can really dishes out to those who aren't raised by two educated and successful parents who love her. Give me a break.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Started out cutesy but got so tiresome.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really struggle reviewing memoirs because if I don't love it, it feels like a criticism of someone's life rather than the story they wrote.

That said, I just didn't love this. The writing was choppy and the story wasn't engaging. I loved the details about the food and the food service industry (Seriously was drooling while reading some bits of this). But the lack of introspection and the bizarre way she references her rape almost coldly and offhandedly, only to never mention it again, made it
Ashley S
Mar 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a KindleFirst pick.

Dreadful read. Run on sentences and terse verbiage made for an insufferably long book that would have been better served in essay format. Because of my stubborn nature, I slogged through to the end--taking a hiatus to read something actually worth my time and energy.

Author makes reference to 'Kitchen Confidential' by Anthony Bourdain, and this book seems to be a knock-off of the same idea. Personal demons, issues with people in the restaurant industry, ill-fated loves
Rachel Siglin
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written

Hannah's writing kept me turning page after page, and her honest discussion of eating disorders was eye opening. I could see the city with her eyes and taste the marvelous meals she describes. A wonderful personal journey and love letter to exquisite food.
Goth Gone Grey
Stunningly lovely, sad yet hopeful

I made the mistake of downloading this before work, reading the first chapter as I brushed my teeth and got dressed, falling into the writing style immediately. I read a few pages while filling my car with gas, and tucked beneath a blanket on the couch as soon as I got home to read the rest in one breathless rush, binging on the author's words with delight.

She writes with poetic beauty of her love for food, describing everything with such mouthwatering
Len Edgerly
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a lot to like in this honest, well-written coming-of-age memoir set in the world of high-end restaurants, eating disorder, and poorly chosen older lovers. It's a challenge to weave these disparate topics into a natural story. Sometimes the effort falters, but the book as a whole succeeds in presenting a young life fully lived and artfully reflected upon.

It's also a challenge to write in an original way about success in a 12-step program, because the success of these approaches depends
J. Danielle Wingler
This was a good narrative and brought up many issues that women quietly struggle with on a daily basis. I have found myself in similar situations or struggling with similar thoughts even though the main character, Hannah, struggles with it in a more extreme way.

It focuses more on her learning to love herself while her eating disorder takes her to many different extremes over the first 30 years of her life (until her late twenties). Other character development does not come through because the
Kayla Peacock
Jun 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was....uh, really bad. Cringeworthy, bad.
I was so intrigued by the story line and hopeful for a unique novel in this particular niche (foodie + ED). The potential for a great novel is there, but it fell completely flat. I am grasping for some redeeming qualities to give this book more than 1 star, but there are none. I pushed through and read the whole book despite wanting to quit reading numerous times. The writing is SO bad and the main character was impossible to connect with. There are
Apr 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy the writing style - it felt incomplete. The story also had no depth in my opinion. Everything felt too Tumblr-esque of what the site thinks of eating disorders and the people around them. And I've faced my share of issues and my families reactions, yet none seem as bad as the mother's or even how the main character describes it.

Maybe the book would get better, but I gave it 50% and finally decided to cut my losses.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: food, read-in-2018
This story had a lot of potentially strong elements, but it feel short in execution. The author didn't seem certain about the story she wanted to tell and so it meandered from one event to another without much overall plot or secondary character development. There were some good moments in this, but it was disappointing overall.
Sue King
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Raw and heartfelt. A satisfying memoir of hunger and fulfillment, good days and bad, love and self-loathing.
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A memoir of feast and famine

At first I wasn't sure I wanted to continue reading as I saw myself in as much as the desire to look model thin with a farmer's body but it turned into a lovely story beginning with Hannah in her Senior year of high school. We meet a Jewish girl with a working mother who finds cooking and feeding her family as relaxation and stress removal. Therefore Hannah loves her food but wants to be thin. She eats until she has devoured everything in sight then wishes she could
Carrie Templeton
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I started the first hour of this randomly, then came back and finished in a day. The content of the story is important and needs to be discussed more freely. However the inner monologue of a young food lover who struggles with limits of that love, comes out in a very young voice. I appreciate the honesty and openness of Howard’s story, it is definitely one that I’m sure many young women will find approachable and relatable.
Hannah Manser
I felt some major issues were not addressed and felt myself almost skimming towards the end. Saying that interesting book that made me, at times, very hungry!
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was disappointing. An anorexic who turns into a bulimic and makes bad choices. I kept wanting it to become more engaging, there was a lesson to learn, it was an interesting peek, a very short peek, in to the culinary world.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I held off choosing Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen by Hannah Howard as my free Kindle first book due to longtime ongoing personal reasons: fighting with my own weight, a dislike of my own body, and mainly a fear that I would want to eat if I read great descriptions of food. Fortunately the other choices of the month didn't appeal to me and it was Feast or no feast at all.

I was stunned by the beauty of this memoir. The author's descriptions of her battles with anorexia, bulimia, and
Elise Lashinsky
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
In Feast, Hannah Howard expertly discusses the cyclical and often inescapable grips of an eating disorder. She does not go into gory detail, but nevertheless, uses language that is compelling and enables the reader to empathize with the author. Just as she is stuck in a bad relationship with food, her love life shows a similar bad cycle, which we see start to change as she addresses her food demons; this parallel shows the interconnectivity of various malignant parts of her life and how her ...more
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Hannah Howard is a writer and food expert who spent her formative years in New York eating, drinking, serving, bartending, cooking on a hot line, and flipping giant wheels of cheese in Manhattan landmarks such as Picholine and Fairway Market. She received her BA from Columbia University in creative writing and anthropology in 2009. She is currently pursuing her MFA in creative nonfiction at the ...more
“I like the hazelnut the best; it tastes like secrecy, like the promise that more will be revealed.” 1 likes
“I am a person who loves my sleep, and I am running on empty. Or running on caffeine” 1 likes
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