Patty's Reviews > The Kitchen Daughter

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

really liked it

Ginny has just lost her parents to a tragic accident. She lived with them in a magnificent old home in Philadelphia and was not at all prepared either emotionally or in reality for them to be gone. She is living with undiagnosed Asperger's and her parents had protected her all throughout her life. After the funeral her sister blows in like a tornado trying to take over her life and sell the house and take her away from everything she has ever known. Her sister refuses to accept that Ginny is capable and Ginny refuses to accept that something could be wrong with her.

Ginny's way of coping with stress is to cook; whether in a real kitchen or in her head cooking and recipes soothe her. As she recreates recipes from people in her past she finds she can bring their ghostly presence to a form of life in her kitchen where they bring her messages that help her move forward.

I truly enjoyed this unique tale of Philadelphia, cooking and sisters. I don't have a sister but I have always tried to imagine what it would be like. Cooking is a fantastic way to settle the mind to a task and have a measurable result at the end. The emotional storyline is powerful as the two sisters try to deal with the sudden loss of two very loved parents. As the girls go through the house and pack up their parents' belongings they find lessons in their pasts and secrets that have been hidden for years. Those secrets, had they not been kept might have made significant differences for Ginny but she only learns this too late. But it's not too late to perhaps help her sister when she needs that help the most.

I found myself truly wrapped up in this story in spite of the fantastical aspects. It was a book that packed an emotional punch on many different levels. The sisters had a lot to work out between them and Ginny had some serious growing up to do. The cooking and recipes are an added bonus.
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