Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee

Title: The Glass Kitchen   
Author: Linda Francis Lee        
Published:  June 2014, St. Martin's Press
Format: ARC paperback, 366 pages   
Source: Publisher  

With The Glass Kitchen, Linda Francis Lee has served up a novel that is about the courage it takes to follow your heart and be yourself. A true recipe for life. 

Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan . . . and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream. The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Linda Francis Lee and I loved it! It's the type of the book that you can't put down but you don't want to end. It's sweet and whimsical, with a touch of magical realism thrown in.

I loved the character of Portia. Like her grandmother, she has "the knowing." Out of the blue, she will get the urge to bake something, or make a specific meal that someone needs for whatever reason. Moving to New York, she realizes that cooking is a huge part of her, and she slowly starts allowing it to come back to her.  I also loved the bond that she has with her sisters, Olivia and Cordelia. They truly act like only sisters can - they love each other, fight with each other, and are there for each other when it counts. 

I also loved Ariel, Gabriel's youngest daughter. She's smart and sassy in her own way and makes quite an interesting narrator. I love that Lee chose her as a narrator - it paired well with Portia's chapters. She's still struggling after the death of her mother and trying to not become invisible to those around her.

Between the beautiful cover, the mouth-watering recipes, the steamy relationship between Portia and Gabriel that simmers from their first meeting right until the end (he uses the fire escape ladder to visit her at night - how hot is that!!!), and the cast of fun characters, I devoured this book!   

I actually have one of Linda Francis Lee's other books on my shelf, Emily & Einstein, but just haven't gotten around to reading it. Now, I can tell you it's getting bumped up on the reading list!

Do you ever choose books based on the cover? Would this cover tempt you?



  1. This truly sounds like my kind of book! Lovely review. Bookfan is hosting a giveaway for this book; I've listed it on the right side of my blog. :)

  2. Me too, loved it. I must read some more of her books too, will have to seek them out. This cover is gorgeous - the colours are amazing together. Book covers sometimes tempt me in, this one would and did.

  3. I'm bad about choosing books because of their cover and this one has interested me because of that but all I've read about the book sounds like it's worth reading. Thanks for sharing! This sounds like a great book.

  4. I'm starting this today - can't wait because there's been so much buzz about it. Everyone seems to love it. Glad you did because we like similar books :)

  5. Sounds like a really wonderful read. As for your question, the cover is what first attracts me to a book. If I like the cover, I will check out the synopsis. If I like the synopsis, then I read it.


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