Samantha's Reviews > The Kitchen Daughter

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

really liked it

This book was nothing like I thought it would be. Good Reads recommended it to me based on the fact that I liked "Garden Spells," by Sarah Addison Allen, so I assumed it would be similar, however as soon as I began to read about Ginny I knew there was something different about her... and then I discovered she was more like Temple Grandin than Claire Waverley. Actually, there's a little nod to Temple in the book regarding her "Hugging Machine."

The book, contrary to Good Reads' description of it, is not about a 26 year old woman who is "painfully shy and sheltered," it is about a 26 year old woman who as been living with Asperger's syndrome, un-diagnosed, for her entire life. When her parents die suddenly, she is forced to live in a world without the protection of her parents and her sister, Amanda, the new family matriarch, suspecting that Ginny has Asperger's, worries so badly that Ginny will not know how to get along in this world without her parents, which causes a sudden rift between them.

Ginny, distraught and panicked at the wake, decides to cook, which is her most dear hobby and source of comfort. She finds a recipe of her grandmother's and when the smell of the food fills the kitchen her grandmother appears to her, with a warning.

It was a very good book and I fear that it has been thrown in with romance and magical realism. The ghosts Ginny sees might be scent memories, recalled so strongly to her mind due to her incredible eidetic memory, but then again, she can call people whom she's never met, so maybe there is some magic to it... Anyway, that's no reason to lump this book in with chick-lit.

It's a complex story, and it's wonderful. I think it could be used as a learning tool for families dealing with a child with Asperger's or a mild form of autism. Not everyone is the same, but it might help parents with a child on the spectrum.

The story was lovely, sad at times, but still nice. I gave it 4 stars because I really liked it, but I didn't love it.

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Reading Progress

April 10, 2012 – Started Reading
April 10, 2012 – Shelved
April 10, 2012 –
page 83
April 10, 2012 –
page 143
April 10, 2012 – Finished Reading

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