When I was contacted in October asking if I would like to review The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister, I didn’t even hesitate for a second. I had read and loved, The School of Essential Ingredients by the author. I received the book in October and was given a December tour date to host. That seemed so far away, so I lovingly placed the book on my shelf promising to pick it up closer to my review date.
Fast forward to last week, when I turned my handy dandy planner page over to this week to plan out my blogging. Eeeek! I had one week to read and review! No problem. I can easily read a book in a week, I’ll just whip right through it.
Problem. This is not a book I want to whip through. This book is so wonderful and full of such delicious writing, I want to savor every word….kind of like what I attempt to do with my daily miniscule piece of dark chocolate.
So, I am not finished with it. But I don’t need to be finished with it to tell you that this book is wonderful. Fabulous. My only complaint is that I am not reading it on my Kindle, which as spoiled me with it’s easy highlighting, so instead I have a book filled with turned down pages.
Every single thing I like in a book is in this book: interesting characters, food, gorgeous writing.
Interesting characters – all of the characters are so thoughtfully sketched out. My favorite is Al. At this point the book hasn’t come right out and said it, but I would suspect that Al has a little Asperger’s syndrome. The way his brain works, the way he associates numbers with people.
“When Al was a child, his mother was always showing him books with shapes in red and blue and yellow and green. Triangles. Squares. Circles, she said, pointing. But what he really liked were the shapes his mother called numbers – the way the tall stick of a 1 seemed to be hiding it’s face from the elegant contours of the 2, the way the grandmotherly 3 nestled up to the stick-and—starch lines of the 4. Al’s mother reminded him of a 7. If she had bigger feet, she could have been a 2, he though, but is mother always seemed to bloating a bit or leaning – against a countertop in the kitchen, the wall of the living room. Never quite sitting, never quite straight.”
Then there is the food writing:
“She returned to the walk-in refrigerator, using the intervening minutes to assess the food inside while her mind played with menus for the week. Leftover roasted red peppers and zucchini could be the beginnings of a pasta sauce; extra polenta could be sliced and fried in butter and sage. For all the glamour of restaurants, the underlying secret of the successful ones was their ability to magically repurpose ingredients, a culinary sleight of hand that kept them financially afloat and would have made any depression-era housewife proud.”
And, the gorgeous writing:
“Remembering her verbal tsunami on New Year’s Eve, Chloe determined that she would not be the talker on this journey. It was his turn. She let the silence unfold in the car, curl around the steering wheel, ship through Finnegan’s long fingers and stretch out in the back seat. Silence didn’t appear to bother Finnegan, the way it did some people, whos seemed to think that airtime should be claimed like property. Jake had been that way, always reaching for the conversation as if it was the last slice of pizza in the box and next meal was uncertain. “
See? I love the book. And I suspect as I finish it, I will love it even more!
From the TLC Book tour page:
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult (January 24, 2013)
National bestselling author Erica Bauermeister returns to the enchanting world of The School of Essential Ingredients in this luminous sequel.
Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And there’s Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn’t expect. . . .
Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes joining in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given. A beautifully imagined novel about the ties that bind—and links that break—The Lost Art of Mixing is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship.
I am hosting this for the TLC Book Tours, please check here to see all the other bloggers who are hosting and check out their reviews!
For more information on the author, you can visit their website, here.
Usual disclaimer: I received no compensation for this review, other than a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.