Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review -- Starting From Scratch by Susan Gilbert-Collins

by Susan Gilbert-Collins
Simon & Schuster Adult, 2010
322 pages
*I received this from the publisher for review.

Summary: On the day she defends her dissertation, Olivia is devastated by the news that her mother (Vivian) has died. Olivia moves home and uncovers secrets about her mother and three siblings while learning to move forward from the terrible loss.

Review: Let me explain why my summary is just okay -- I forgot to mention the cooking! The novel is centered around Vivian's love of cooking and even includes recipes. Olivia uses cooking as a way of feeling close to her mom. I thought this was lovely little novel filled with wonderful characters and some unexpected surprises. Each sibling (including Olivia) has a secret that they are keeping from the family. The author does such a great job of having the secrets come out in both funny and sad ways that make you feel like part of the family. Olivia was a great main character, very interesting and relatable. Overall, a fun and light read that was very entertaining and made my mouth water the entire time! Rating: **** out of 5

**** Corrections (8/20/10): Thanks to Ruth who caught my mistakes! In the original post I wrote that Annie was the main character, but have since fixed it to read Olivia. Sorry everyone!

Have you read and reviewed this book? Then leave a link to your review in the comments section!


Mary said...

I like your concise review - tells me exactly what I want to know (but not too much). Sounds like a book I'd really enjoy!

Aunt Ruth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth said...

I really liked Jess's review but I was a little confused by her reference to Annie as the main character. Olivia is the main character; Annie is her oldest sister. I really liked "Starting from Scratch." It's just hard to believe it's fiction as the characters are so likeable and real. At the same time as making the characters endearing, the author is able to show how truly annoying even adult siblings can be at times. I really enjoyed the flashbacks and the little things Olivia remembers as the youngest of four kids. I didn't want the book to end. I wish Olivia would invite me over for thanksgiving dinner!

Jess said...

Hi Mary,
It's a great book and I definitely recommend reading it!

Hi Ruth,
Thank you so much for mentioning my mistake! I am so embarrassed by the flub, but will fix it ASAP. Thanks again for noticing it!

Thanks for your comments!