Monday, July 25, 2011

BookClubSandwich: The Kitchen Daughter

It's that time again! Time for a BookClubSandwich discussion, and this time we're tackling Jael McHenry's The Kitchen Daughter.

My partner in crime--Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness--e-mailed me last week asking if I would mind kicking off discussion. I didn't mention at the time that this book didn't work out for me in a couple of different ways. Surprise, Kim! I hate to be that discussion leader in the blogosphere who has a reputation for not finishing assigned reading, but sadly, I may just be that person!

I got this book wayyyy ahead of discussion time. I believe I was just wrapping up two of my favorite reads of the year, ROOM and Everything Beautiful Began After. In other words, The Kitchen Daughter had really big shoes to fill--something that is decidedly not the novel's fault. I was initially very attracted to this book because I love foodie fiction. Something I did not realize is that the main character is Asperger's-afflicted--something I have hit and miss luck with in books.

At first the premise was intriguing enough. I like that Ginny could conjure the dead with her cooking and that she fled to the kitchen in times of stress. However, this premise was not enough of a grabber to keep me going. I found Ginny really hard to "be with" in the book. Her nervousness and social anxiety just made me feel nervous and anxious and drew the book out to a point that was almost painful for me to read. It grated on my nerves, got a bit under my skin, and ultimately I did not finish. I intended to! I tried to get it back from the library (and remain #2 on the holds list), and I just couldn't convince myself to buy the e-book version with some pinchy financial stuff going on at my house.

Now, I want to know what I missed! What did you think of the  book? What were the best and worst bits? How do you jive with characters whose personalities overwhelm you? These and a number of other questions are fair game for discussion.

Please post your thoughts on your own blog and leave a link in the Mr. Linky below or the comments section here. I can't wait to read what you all thought, and Kim will wrap things up toward the end of the week. For now, The Kitchen Daughter is my third DNF of the year.

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