Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs is the second novel for this author; she debuted with The Friday Night Knitting Club, which, if Hollywood making a screenplay out of the book is any indication, was wildly popular.
I haven’t had a chance to read The Friday Night Knitting Club…I have to admit chick lit isn’t really my thang. However, free books are my thang and perhaps I shouldn’t judge these books until I’ve read them. Shame on me.
I’ll admit that when I picked up Comfort Food I had a little trepidation: What if I didn’t like it? How would I get through 300+ pages of something that, for me, could be excruciating? Alas, my fears were all for naught after I got through the first 10 pages.
Comfort Food is [mostly] about Augusta (Gus) Simpson, who has her very own cooking show. She’s been marvelously successful but seems to be in a slump…planning her own 50th birthday is the last thing she wants to do. She who loves to plan doesn’t want to plan something? Mon dieu! Add in a couple of plot twists and interesting characters, stir vigorously, and you’ve got yourself a novel, and probably a best-selling one at that.
If Gus was the only focus of the book, I think the story would have fallen flat. But the author hooks the reader with parts narrated by other characters, making the reader much more invested in the story. There’s Gus’ two grown daughters, Aimee (super anal) and Sabrina (totally not anal and now engaged for the third time), who bicker and push each other’s buttons; Troy, Sabrina’s ex-boyfriend; Hannah, Gus’ recluse of a neighbor; Oliver, a new culinary producer on her show; and Carmen Vega, a former Miss Spain, who now wishes to find fame and fortune with her own cooking show, but must settle as second fiddle on Gus’ show. We meander through the story, following different characters as the story allows. Gus must get her ratings up and must put up with the dynamics of all these people (her daughters, Troy, Hannah, Carmen Vega, Oliver) who have been thrust on to HER show. This makes the side stories even more interesting, as you get different perspectives on (often times) the same situation. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that the author gave us enough information on the secondary characters, it was something that was started but not followed through on satisfactorily. I would have loved a longer story with more storyline on Carmen Vega, Troy, Hannah, etc.
Comfort Food, for me, was a guilty pleasure because I couldn’t believe how much I was enjoying it! I was really into the characters and how things would play out. I finished it as quick as I could (which wasn’t very quick, but I have a wedding to plan!) and the ending did not disappoint. This would make a great vacation read, summer read, beach read, road trip read, winter read, heck, it’s a light book with a good plot…I think that’s a good read anytime. 😀
Rating: 83 out of 100.
Please stay tuned; I’ve got an interview AND a guest post from Kate Jacobs coming up!