Risotto Anyone? A Review…

This is the name of the island in Maine where this story takes place…Blue Crab Island. It is connected to Portland by a lovely bridge. This puts Holly…the main character… close to amazing stores and small artisanal shops and farmer’s markets. The island itself is only a mile or two long and perhaps three miles wide. The houses are quaint and cottagey…Maine colors abound…bright blues and yellows and lovely greens. You can walk to the beach. You can escape to Portland. You can find peace.

Enter Holly Macguire. She is broken hearted and believes she will never find the love of her life. She has lived everywhere…sort of following her heart. Her grandmother lives on Blue Crab Island. Her grandmother is Italian, makes amazing foods and teaches cooking classes. Holly has spent lots of time with her grandmother throughout her life so this is where she goes to heal her once again broken heart. Holly is there a few weeks when her grandmother just does not wake up one morning. Holly is left with her grandmother’s recipes; her grandmother’s house and her grandmother’s cat…none of these are taking well to Holly. Her grandmother also has a reputation for telling fortunes. So…Holly also inherits the three smooth stones that her grandmother used to do this.

Holly has some truly awful days on Blue Crab Island. She is not the cook her grandmother was. She spends all of her days trying to learn to cook her grandmother’s recipes in order to keep the house, have a career and stay on the island. Holly’s grandmother’s recipes always have something special in them…such as a sad wish or a happy moment or something that you are yearning for. Holly has heard these all of her life but never really was truly mindful of them until this time in her life. As Holly grows her grandmother’s words begin to have true meaning for her.

The evening of the first cooking class finally comes and Holly finds herself teaching a tween who hates her father’s girlfriend, a single woman trying to find love, a divorced dad trying to deal with his young daughter and an old friend who is so sad that she can’t even speak to anyone.

Through out the course of the book each issue is dealt with. We see friendships form and relationships get destroyed or blossom and grow. Of course this is all dealt with in a totally entertaining way by the author. Mean girls and mean women are everywhere. Relationships are fun and lively. My interest was keen and I read this book really quickly…it was that good.

My mother was Italian…so I loved all of the recipes and sayings and Italianesque things all throughout the story. I was so hungry for pasta during this book that I had to make pasta for dinner last night. You will also be hungry for fresh cheeses and great Italian breads and olive oils and wines and Italian Espresso. And…there are even recipes at the end. Yum…

Overall…I enjoyed this book…it was fun and interesting.

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