Title: The Glass Kitchen Author: Linda Francis Lee Published: June 17th 2014 by St. Martin's Press Format: Hardcover, Pgs 384 Genre: Magical Realism
This is the perfect book for a spring weekend. Food, romance, three sisters that are wound together, an irrepressible preteen, humor and a bit of magic. It must be the weather since I am not usually a romance kind of reader, but this book seemed to hit me just right.
Portia Cuthcart, a recent Texas divorcee, leaves her home and lying politician ex-husband and heads to Manhattan. Back to an apartment that was left to her by her aunt. A woman that had taken in Portia and her sisters when their parents had been killed.
Portia did not only inherit this garden apartment, she had also inherited a magical gift of being able to see food – the perfect healing meals that a person needed. Be it down home southern cooking or a last minute meal for guests or a birthday cake. She did not always know the “why”, but she did know the need.
Making a go of living in New York is not easy with no job and an ex that is not coming through with spousal support. Now she must contend with the man that lives in the apartments above her. Portia’s sisters sold their interests to Gabriel Kane – a man that is nursing his own troubles and trying to raise to daughters on his own. He may understand finance but he does not understand his daughters or how to cook. After Gabriel’s daughter Ariel samples Portia’s cooking, she insists in the way that only Ariel could get away with, that he hire Portia to be their cook and in doing so, creates a bond between the two adults that heats up rather quickly.
Everyone within this story has a secret and as the book unfolds, the reader sees each one revealed. No one is spared and if it were not for the gift of “the knowing” that Portia possess, both the Cuthcart sisters and the Kane family would be facing even more emotional devastation.
Magical realism may not be for everyone, but it works in this book. There is a lightness in the story, but that is not to mean that it is silly, just that from time to time everyone needs a break and a chance to unwind - to take a vacation from their own heads and dream.