Allison Floyd's Reviews > The Blue Bistro

The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
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's review
Apr 26, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: hark-i-are-a-chick, hating-is-fun, mediocrity-rules, spackle-for-the-void
Read in April, 2012

Every so often I like to pretend I'm an open-minded person. So, one day, when I am innocently shelving this book in the course of my library duties, and for some reason it catches my eye, I check it out and think to myself, why not? I almost never read this kind of thing, so why not try something that goes against my grain? After all, I reason, as a writer, shouldn't I read as widely and voraciously as possible, including stuff I wouldn't normally?

And hey, I like mental mashed potatoes, fluffy and overladen with butter, as much as the next guy. Who doesn't need the occasional (or frequent!) reprieve from, well, thinking? But man, oh man. This was insipid, even as insipid fare goes. The protagonist, Adrienne, is a nonentity who evidently looks good swathed in silk and sipping champagne. There is endless and deeply irritating talk about teeth (Adrienne's father is a dentist), and Adrienne's email correspondence—and face-to-face interactions, and hell, her whole relationship—with her father will have you wanting to toss your cookies. Of course she has the requisite dead mother. And of course someone else important is dying. Human Tragedy. Where would we be without it? Certainly not on a Nantucket beach, looking gorgeous in silks and sipping champagne.

That said, I saw this through to the bitter end, which is unusual for me, especially when a book makes me grind my teeth (sorry, Dr. Don) as much as this one did. There must be a reason for this. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for food porn. Maybe because the character of Fiona was alright. Maybe it's because instant mashed potatoes don't come close to homemade (represented in this genre, I guess, by Maeve Binchy), but they're still mashed potatoes, so suck it up, pile on the butter, and clean your plate.

Okay, now, back to the Tolstoy.
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Reading Progress

03/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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Linda Wow. . . Ouch but I loved this review. . . I'm reading it anyway!

Allison Floyd Haha, well, it is a fun escapist read in its way...Enjoy!

Lyddie Ouch indeed... I can see your point, but the book was still very fun for me.

Allison Floyd I agree, it's fun--and we all need that!

Judith Great reprieve from heavy duty reading.....just needed to escape.

Allison Floyd Escape is important!

message 7: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Vasiliev No offense, but you're so boring!! This is a summer read, fun and relaxing!

Kathy Dekker Wow! With critics like you, those of us who do want to be writers may never venture out. This seems like a mindless, relaxing book to get lost in on a late summer day. You do know her books sell, right? Are you published, Miss Tolstoy?

Allison Floyd Why yes indeed (on a much smaller scale)! Sorry you seem to have taken my personal opinion, well, personally.

message 10: by Jill (new)

Jill Had a bit of a giggle at some of these comments. Enjoyed your review!

Allison Floyd Thanks! Glad the self-deprecating irony therein wasn't lost on everyone!

message 12: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Faust Allison, I totally agree. I'm half way through and still waiting for the book to get going.

Allison Floyd Yes, this particular froth just failed to foam properly for me. Still fun for what it is, though!

message 14: by Hana (new)

Hana Oh, Allison! Thank you! Your review gave me the best laugh of the day. I especially loved this line: "There is endless and deeply irritating talk about teeth (Adrienne's father is a dentist)" And then when I saw your GR shelf "hark-i-are-a-chick" I sprayed my mashed potatoes and butter all over the computer screen :D

Allison Floyd "I sprayed my mashed potatoes and butter all over the computer screen :D"

I think this is my favorite compliment. Ever. :D

Carolyn I laughed out loud at this review and agreed with every single word. That said, after a summer of happily plowing through Pulitzer winners, I felt the need for something light, fast-food reading. I really enjoyed it but do NOT read this if you're hungry. Thanks for the great review.

Allison Floyd Thank you for the kind words! I absolutely agree that fast-food reads can be a much-needed respite, and I certainly have a soft spot for them. It can't be all kale all the time!

message 18: by Robin (new)

Robin Mitchell When was the last time you were on the best seller list miss tolstoy

Judith enough is just a beach read

Allison Floyd Good grief, people, you needn't take my opinion so personally. But I'm flattered to warrant a comment!

Allison Floyd Also, Judith, I hope you're wearing enough sunscreen!

Carolyn Laughed out loud ^^

Allison Floyd Haha, always a good thing! :D

Taryn love the phrase "mental mashed potatoes!" but alas, dear ms. hilderbrand is my guiltiest pleasure.

Allison Floyd I can see why--she's a hoot!

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