Jan 13, 2012

How 'Bout Them Reads: The Lost Recipe of Happiness

This is a book that I only know about because I had read one previously by Barbara O'Neal, How to Bake a Perfect Life, and I loved it. Seriously, go read that book. It is a great story, a quick read and just an awesome book. But I'm not here about that book, which we all know that. I'm here about another one of her books, The Lost Recipe of Happiness.

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Elena is a chef. She's traveled all over to study and currently works a sous chef in a restaurant called the Blue Turtle. But she also carries around ghost (and yes I realized as well that this is my fourth book of the new year and all four have had a ghost involved - didn't do this on purpose). She also carries around the injuries from an accident that happened many years ago and something she avoids talking about. She is interviewed for an article in the local newspaper about the restaurant but the entire article was about how she was living in a man's world. The executive chef at the Blue Turtle, and also her ex, was less than pleased and fires her.

But as soon as she walks outside, she is immediately offered a job by the owner of the Blue Turtle to be the Executive chef at a new place that he has bought and is opening up, the Orange Bear. The one problem for her is that it takes her to Aspen, CO which is getting her closer and closer to home in Santa Fe, which she ran away from after the accident and has tried not to look back.  

She is now battling the ex-executive chef that was demoted and all the other men who doubt her, but she stands on her own two feet and fights back. All the while, she finds herself in a relationship with Julian, the successful director who opened the Orange Bear (and also the Blue Turtle plus two others). And what's more she finds herself becoming attached to his fourteen year old daughter. Elena was so use to it being just her and her dog, Alvin, that she is finding it hard to open herself up completely to Julian. She still carries around too many scars and ghosts.

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I didn't love this one quite as much as I loved How to Bake a Perfect Life but apparently I liked it enough to read it in three days. It was very good. You could really see Elena as she learned to open herself up and let people into her life. We aren't all world-class chefs, we haven't all be in horrible accidents, we don't all carry around ghosts, but we can all relate to the human aspect. To letting people get close to you - because the sad truth is is that we have all been hurt - and this book is about putting those pieces back together and figuring out who you are by the end of it and letting other people back in.

4/35

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