Book Review of Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

 Delicious! is a story where the narrator, a young woman named Billie, joins the ragtag team from a cookery magazine as an assistant writer. Whilst doing her job she meets new people and also discovers letters between a young girl and a past editor of the magazine dating from World War II. As the story unfolds, Billie makes friends and manages to discover love and herself.

From the summary above, Delicious! seems like a really cliché novel for love-sick women. Although this may be so for some readers, the story did not seem cheesy to me at all. I felt like the events in the story could happen to anyone from the matter-of-fact tone that the book maintained. Due to the book’s location in the library (with Pride and Prejudice and Fifty Shades) I didn’t think that I would enjoy the novel as much as I did. I think that I picked it up merely to branch out from the fantasy genre (which is the only genre that I actually read) but found myself getting lost within the characters and the story-line. I usually read to escape the harsh bite of reality which explains why I usually pick up a good fantasy or sci-fi novel to read as they are as far away from realistic as you can get. However, Billie’s story was just so charming to me that I looked up from reading and realised that two hours had passed and I had nearly finished the book.
The book is split into three parts, and each is a different size. This seems to represent a new chapter in the narrator’s life that is a part of, but still separate from the ones before. The writing style of the novel was first person which gave a greater insight to the thoughts and feelings of the narrator, which is something that I enjoy. Due to this, the overall tone of the novel changed from shy and awkward to slightly more confident and outgoing, showing the development of Billie’s character through the ‘voice’ of the novel. The descriptions of the people and places were so believable that it made me feel like I was there with the characters, sharing the jokes and the food. It made me wish that I had friends like Sammy and Sal just because they seem so fun and care-free and improve Billie’s life so much that I want them to help me find happiness, and teach me how to cook.

Don’t read this book when you are hungry. Delicious! is a food magazine and many of the characters are chefs. This may give you an urge to go and make a massive cake as it did with me. They even put a recipe of a cake used in the book at the end of the story so there is opportunity to do so if you wish. The novel also gave me the urge to search all the old books in the library to see if there are any secret messages hidden there.

When I return this book to the library, I think I may go out and buy it as I love it so much and wish for it to be a permanent fixture on my bookshelf. It truly is a wonderful book with twists and turns, making it less a rom-com (considering that it takes most of the book for anything romantic to happen) and more of a self-discovery and mystery novel. I enjoyed immensely and hope that others will too when it is returned to the shelf. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good book.  

Published by Hannah Rachel

I am a Writer from the North West of England with a passion for books, writing, art and everything creative.

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