Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Story Description:
Hyperion|July , 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-4013-1083-7
From New York Times bestselling author Sandra Lee comes her debut novel, a heartwarming story about food, family, and forgiveness. 
Grace Holm-D’Angelo is at her wit’s end, trying to create a new life from broken pieces.  Newly divorced, she is navigating suddenly becoming a single mother to her fourteen-year-old daughter.  Emma, resentful about being uprooted from Chicago to LA and still reeling from the divorce, is generally giving her mother a hard time. 
Then Grace’s best friend, Leeza succumbs to breast cancer after a long battle, and Grace realizes that you don’t get a second chance at life.  She returns to her hometown of New London, Wisconsin, to try to reconcile with her own mother, Lorraine, with whom she’s been estranged for longer than she cares to remember. 
Over the course of the summer, Grace rediscovers the healing powers of cooking, coming to terms with your past, and friendship, and learns you can go home again, and sometimes that’s exactly where you belong. 
The Recipe Box celebrates mothers, daughters, and friendships, and also features Sandra’s delicious original recipes. 
My Review:
Grace Holm-D’Angelo is divorced and getting used to being a single Mom to her fourteen-year-old daughter, Emma.  Grace and Emma live in Los Angeles although Grace originally hails from New London, Wisconsin.  Grace worked on a television show called “The Lost Ones.” 
Poor Grace was absolutely exhausted.  Since last fall she had been running through airports flying from Los Angeles to Wisconsin and back.  Her very best friend since high school, Leeza, was fighting aggressive, stage three breast cancer.  Together the two women were scrabbling their way through tests, radiation, surgery, chemo, and more surgery including a grueling bone marrow transplant. 
It was hard for Grace to watch her friend go through this but, Leeza had a supportive husband in Jonathan and a beautiful two-year-old little girl named, Sara. 
Grace and her mother, Lorraine have been estranged for about sixteen years now.  When Grace went back to Wisconsin she didn’t stay with her mother but with Leeza and Jonathan for she considered them her family now. 
Grace was finding it increasingly difficult to maintain some sense of sanity.  She had part of her in Los Angeles where she is trying to make a new life, and the other part back in Wisconsin for, Leeza.  She didn’t know if she was coming or going and most days didn’t think she was doing anything very well.  If she was with Emma, she felt she should be with, Leeza.  If she was with, Leeza she felt she should be with Emma.  If she was with either of them, she felt she was letting the people at work down. 
After Leeza passes away, things begin to change for Grace.  Old friends from her past begin to materialize and set about a whole new change of thought patterns for Grace.  Then she discovers a secret inside the “recipe box” that shocks her to her core but in the end, it comes to have more meaning than she ever dreamed. 
Leeza’s death reminded everyone how short and fragile life was.  Now her friend, Ken was gone, Leeza was gone, Brian her ex was gone, and she’d pushed her new beau, Mike away.  Aside from Emma, Grace was more alone than she’d ever been in her life.  But did it really matter?  Were work and Emma enough?  What will Grace do now?  What about her estranged relationship with Lorraine? 
The Recipe Box celebrates the joys and boundaries of storytelling.  This was a deeply satisfying read – elegant, funny, forgiving, and insightful.  A pure joy to read. 

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