Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review of The School of Essential Ingredients

Synopsis in a Sentence: A group of varied people come together to learn about cooking and life in this slim novel.

My Thoughts:
This was such a sweet, charming little book...I liked it better than I thought I would! The owner of a small, intimate, and quaint restaurant, Lillian, gives cooking lessons every Monday night to a group of eight people. The group's lives end up intertwining during the course of this novel.

We learn about Lillian's history and love for food, as the novel unfolds. Each chapter is dedicated to the other members of the group and we learn about what is going on in each of their lives. Every Monday night, Lillian has the class members create a new dish and I was excited each time to read about what they would make! My mouth was definitely watering during this book!

What I loved most: The dishes that the students create are not simply about food...they end up having some symbolism for the character's lives as well. For example, the creation of a spicy tomato sauce ignites a romance between two of the characters! Several foods remind Lillian of her mother and her childhood. I love the idea of food having meaning to us and impacting our lives, rather than just something we consume every day!

What I liked least: A few of the characters were a little bit boring, perhaps, and many of them had cliche type dilemmas. The book wasn't very unique I guess, but it was a charming, fast read and I loved the descriptions of all the food and what it ended up meaning to the characters as I mentioned above!

3 stars


  1. Thanks for sharing, Rebecca! I'm going to check ths title out on Goodreads....

  2. I love books that have a food theme. I will have to add this to my tbr list.