Culinary fiction – “That part was true”, by Deborah McKinlay

It seems that most of my reading is done while travelling. I usually take at least a few books with me. Of course, it does happen that I don’t even get them out of my bag or suitcase and sometimes I need to buy a new one on the way. This was the case last week, when I was travelling home from Barcelona, Spain. I had a few books with me that I took from home. Started reading as soon as the plane took off and couldn’t get my hands off until I was finished. Who knows – maybe the hotel, which added a book in Lithuanian to their library will make some guest happy some time.
On my way back, I stopped by the book store at the airport. Came across Deborah McKinlay’s “That part was true”. To be honest – have not read anything by this author previously, but the back of the cover promised I’d get indulged in a romance, where two people get in relationship through their love for food.
The food part sold me the promise of a potential good read for my plane ride home. Plus, inspired by a number of tapas and wine places visited in Barcelona, I really wanted to get my hands on something tasty! There and then I thought it may be interesting to share my reading findings on Raspberry Flavor for those, who share my passion to read about food!
The two main characters Jackson Cooper and Eve Petworth become pen-pals over matters of food. They indulge into exchanging hand written letters, starting with short tips and recommendations about cooking, extending to personal life nuances.
I do find it quite romantic in the current fast pace way of living all around us to communicate with someone by hand written letters. It seems it must slow down the pace and make one eagerly anticipate a response in the mailbox. There are scenes that embrace cooking and eating, even lists a few recipes, quoting one that I’m definitely trying myself.
Granny Cooper’s Peanut Cookies

* 75 g butter
* 150 g sugar
* 1 large egg
* 150 g flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 dessert spoon cocoa
* 150 g peanuts (She liked to roast them in the oven first. I do, too.)
Cream the butter and sugar; add the beaten egg; then mix in the sifted flour, baking powder, and cocoa; and last, add the cooled peanuts.
Place spoonfuls on a greased tray(s) and bake at a 180° for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Serve with milk.
My personal view – quite a pleasant, good and light read. Fits perfectly with my reading needs while travelling. I was hoping for a little bit more of the food engaged romance between the two characters and was a bit distracted with several other story lines along the way. With quite a few cliches – Jack being a best selling American novelist, twice divorced yet accustomed to receiving his dose of women’s attention and Eve being a lonely British woman, living quite a privileged life, experiencing anxiety attacks triggered by her complex relationship with deceased mother – the story does its work in pulling in the reader.
Now not to spoil the joy of reading, I will not give out any more of the story line. I would give it a 3,5 out of 5.
Amazon readers rate it at 4/5, Barnes and Noble – 4/5, Goodreads – 3,4/5.
Bonne lecture!

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