Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Our August/September Selection: Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown

Since March and our 2020 safer-at-home experience, I have read over twenty books.   Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown is number twenty-one and the August-September  selection for Cook the Books.  

From the Publisher:
In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband--and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.

When Alice Hale leaves a career in publicity to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in a box in the old home's basement, she becomes captivated by the cookbook’s previous owner--1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the cookbook’s pages Nellie left clues about her life--including a mysterious series of unsent letters penned to her mother.

Soon Alice learns that while baked Alaska and meatloaf five ways may seem harmless, Nellie's secrets may have been anything but. When Alice uncovers a more sinister--even dangerous--side to Nellie’s marriage, and has become increasingly dissatisfied with the mounting pressures in her own relationship, she begins to take control of her life and protect herself with a few secrets of her own.

About the Author:
Karma Brown is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author of the novels Come Away With Me, The Choices We MakeIn This Moment, and The Life Lucy Knew. In addition to her novels, Brown's writing has appeared in publications such as Self, Redbook, Canadian Living, Today's Parent, and Chatelaine.

The premise of the novel had me captivated from the beginning.  There are recipes included in the book, all with vintage roots mostly in the category of comfort food:  meatloaf, chocolate chip cookies, tuna casserole.  But, there are some more interesting ones as well like rose caramels.  (And perhaps some that you should never, ever make.)  The recipes fall as precursors to Nellie's chapters.  As the narration jumps from a 1950s housewife's POV to that of a modern "homemaker," some startling similarities may arise.  

Please join our merry band of epicurean bibliophiles for this round.  Get a copy of Recipe for a Perfect Wife and read along.  Get inspired by an old classic family recipe from the 1950s or create something new inspired from your reading.  Anyone can participate in Cook the Books and new participants are always welcome!  (Leave a comment here or check out our Guidelines page if you have any questions.)

Deadline for contributing your post is Wednesday, September 30, 2020  Leave a comment below with a link or email me at eliotseats@gmail.com.  

Happy reading!



Simona Carini said...

Can't wait to get my copy and read it: thank you for hosting, Debra :)

Debra Eliotseats said...

You are welcome. I just got a copy of The Secret Book & Scone Society and can't wait to read that one. I really liked Recipe for a Perfect Housewife more than I thought I would. Hope you enjoy it!

Terri Steffes said...

I have read the book and will be posting. Fun story!!

Amy said...

Thanks for hosting! Here's my post! https://www.amyscookingadventures.com/2020/08/hot-cheese-puff-canapes.html

Simona Carini said...

A fun read indeed. Here's my post: https://www.pulcetta.com/2020/08/recipe-roasted-eggplant-zucchini-tomatoes.html
Thank you, Debra :)

Claudia said...

I enjoyed this pick, thanks Debra, and my post is up now:

Deb in Hawaii said...

My post is up and even a few days before the deadline! ;-)


Thanks for hosting Debra! I enjoyed the book!