Food in Fiction

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Article in the Adult Fiction category.

A list of books that combine the pleasures and powers of food, flavors, and cooking:

This book hits on the magic of food and engages in magical realism (a style where magical or extraordinary events or happenings are interwoven with realistic settings to enhance the meaning of the story or bring out the symbolism of the circumstances). The Waverley family is peculiar in their hometown in North Carolina. Claire Waverley is a caterer who weaves her garden's herbs and spices into her foods which can change people's moods and affect their emotions. She's thrown for a loop when her long-lost runaway sister returns home with a child of her own, and a neighbor shows an interest in her, and her world is changed suddenly and drastically.
A new book by Aimee Bender. I was on hold for this book at the library for over a month, and I thought it would be really similar to Sarah Addison Allen's books (all of which are phenomenal). It's a book about a young girl who can taste food, not just the ingredients, but where they came from, and especially, the feelings of the person who made them. Although this is the synopsis, I'm going to go ahead and warn you that this isn't really a good thing...though it sounds like fun from the outset, she learns secrets about her family through her food. She has a very interesting perspective, and the writing is absolutely exquisite. It's is dark and brooding, and alive with magical realism, although of a slightly more pessimistic type than Sarah Addison Allen.
This book was one of those books that can only be described as seductive. Laura is an American student studying art in Rome who meets love-em-and-leave-em Tommaso, a waiter in an upscale Roman restaurant, and Bruno, Tommaso's shy friend and incredible chef working at the same restaurant. Tommaso convinces Laura to come to his house for dinner under the pretense that he is a chef--while Bruno is actually the one doing the cooking. Naturally, Bruno also has feelings for Laura, who is seduced by Bruno's culinary masterpieces [while thinking they are Tommaso's creations]. The setting of this story, the narrative of how food entices the senses, and the juicy plot that is almost a modern comedy-of-errors, are a winning recipe. This book also contains recipes toward the back.
Mysterious and alluring-- Single mother Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk move to a small town in France whose activities and characters are dictated by the Catholic church, under the local priest Pere Reynaud. Vianne opens a sweets shop just before Lent, tempting the townsfolk and irritating Reynauld by her uncommon friendliness and defiance of the common town order.
Ansley is a Southern sorority girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend, ruining her dreams of living a cushy life as an upscale Texan housewife. Stressed at the prospect of having to actually find a job in the real world, she moves to New York City to live with a grandmother she's never met, and whose reputation at home is a scandalous one. There, she decides to open a cupcake shop as she tries to carve a niche for herself as a baker. Although this book is a little predictable at times, it's fun and the recipes in it are simply delicious. Recipes are included in the back of this book.
Julie Mueller is a single mother, whose life has gotten bland. Her mother, feeling guilty and remorseful that she secretly ended her daughter's relationship with a man named Michael (the only one her daughter ever really loved), seeks to bring them together again by enrolling them both in a dessert class. Julie finds the beauty in dessert making and is thoroughly taken out of her comfort zone by seeing Michael again for the first time in years, thinking that he had abandoned her to end their relationship. The book contains recipes at the back, and it's a light, easy read that is a lot of fun.

Also try:

Recipes included

Cooking School

Cajun food
  • Reckless Appetites: Romance with Recipes by Jacqueline Deval
Indian spices
Magical realism
Mexican food
Magical realism
Recipes Included
Italian food
Recipes Included
Iranian food in Ireland
Chinese food
Recipes included
African food
Italian food