Monday, February 25, 2013

The Lost Art of Mixing - Erica Bauermeister

Summary:  In this luminous sequel, return to the enchanting world of the national bestseller The School of Essential Ingredients.

Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together.  There's Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn't learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al's wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp.  And there's Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn't expect...

Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes join in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given.  A beautifully imagined novel about the ties that bind -- links that break -- The Lost Art of Mixing is a captivating meditation on the power of love, food, and companionship.  (Summary from book - Image from www.ericabauermeister.com )

My Review:  Before I begin, can I just say ditto to the summary above?  Sometimes the blurbs that you find on inside covers of books can be terribly vague or intentionally misleading, but this one was spot on.  Everything as promised.

The Lost Art of Mixing is the breathtaking sequel to one of my favorite food lit novels, The School of Essential Ingredients. I highly recommend that you lose yourself in its pages before picking up this novel. Trust me. It will mean more if you have the whole story.

While The School of Essential Ingredients centers on the participants of a cooking class, The Lost Art of Mixing focuses on the friends, family, and employees of a young chef and restaurateur. New and familiar characters sift together in this intimate and dazzling collection of vignettes.  Each story gives the briefest glimpse into a life: a captured moment, a chance meeting, the frailty of old age, the first blush of love, the bitterness of separation. 

The Lost Art of Mixing is beautiful in its intricacy, using different perspectives, emotions, and histories to create exquisite characters that feel deeply human and relatable; it was impossible not to find fragments of myself tucked inside the pages.  Their lives touch, some lingering while others flit away, one story blending seamlessly into another, to create a compelling narrative of savory cuisine and dazzling authenticity.

I wanted to take read this book slowly – to savor it chapter by chapter – but I just could not stop reading.  It was over far too soon and I can only hope that the author takes pity on me and writes another one. 

My Rating:  4.5 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  Some brief language and sexual dialogue.

Sum it up:  A breathtakingly evocative sequel.

1 comment:

HayleySarah said...

Sounds really good. Thanks :)

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