Sunday, April 16, 2017

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

By J. Ryan Stradal

Eva Thorvald is a gifted chef with an exquisite palate. She throws occasional private dinners which have very long waiting lists and cost thousands of dollars per person. This is her story.
It starts out with Eva's mother deserting baby Eva and her father, Lars. Lars soon dies and Eva is adopted by Lars' brother Jarl and his wife, Fiona.
In grade school, Eva was picked upon and bullied. She got her revenge in a very unusual way and then ran away to her cousin, Braque, Braque is in college and has just discovered she is pregnant when Eva shows up.
Eva's refined palate and passion for food leads her to a career in the food industry. In the course of time, her life intersects with lots of other people as she finds her niche in the world of fine cuisine. Yet, at the end of the book, Eva is eating mac and cheese, broccoli and drinking beer with Pat Prager's Lutheran peanut butter bars for desert. And that suits her just fine.

Even though this is the story of Eva, the book jumps around a lot and the story switches from one perspective to another, with Eva's story set off to the side. There are so many characters and their lives intersect in many different ways. I had to make a list to keep track of them all. Still, it was a really interesting story and very unforgettable.

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