The Kitchen Daughter - Jael McHenry (publisher)
After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.
A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.
I really liked this book. Matter of fact I read it in one afternoon. I have been in a slump as of late and with one turn of a page of this book, the slump melted away and I was drawn into Ginny's world.
Watching Ginny transform from a scared woman with Asperger's, who just lost her parents, to a strong independent woman facing her fears and life, was amazing. I really enjoyed how food and cooking were brought into the book. Being someone who doesn't enjoy cooking, this book made me wish I did. Jael made cooking look so cathartic and made me want to go bake some bread or soup.
There were other great characters in the book. Gert, David, the ghosts. Even Ginny's sister, even if I was never sure of her angle. To be honest even though these characters were great. This book really, for me, was all about Ginny and watching her evolve.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a character that will reach out and grab your heart and attention.
Author's Website: Jael McHenry