Archive for the ‘Chick Lit’ Category

Turning Tables, Heather & Rose MacDowell
December 23, 2008

Turning Tables is quick, fast, and entertaining. The book describes the hidden world of service behind five star restaurants:  Le Cirque, Le Bernadine, Per Se, or the latest haute cuisine zone of indulgence. The forced smile and chef abuse is universal and captured wonderfully and with compassion by both Heather & Rose, who both have no doubt turned many a table themselves and probably worked longer in the restaurant biz then our heroine Erin.


Turning Tables by Heather & Rose MacDowell

Turning Tables by Heather & Rose MacDowell


Unlike The History of Love, a book which holds itself in high esteem, Turning Tables is a well written story that doesn’t take its’ self to seriously. Something quite hard to accomplish.

I’ve been yelled at by many chefs in my day, at fancy five star places and have been blessed to have cracked open and tasted $500 wines. This book, does a wonderful job of showing the reader the fantasy world of hospitality, drawing away the curtain – it’s hard to put down. 

Not enough books, or I haven’t found them in any case. Focus on the servers that perform the smoke and mirrors of luxury, the smile that’s never worn even after many hours of polishing silver and crystal just so. When Erin dangles, having to clean a chandelier in a harness. I can almost picture the old Lespinasse or the much to decadent Le Cirque (when it was in the Palace Hotel).  With owners to cheap to hire a proper cleaning crew.  When the authors describe the fine dinning table, a table that’s usually just plywood with much padding to muffle the silver.  The table transforms when the lights are dim and the many thousands of dollars of china and wares guild it.  



The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
December 22, 2008

The History of Love has a great title, that’s about it.  I ended up skimming the end of the book and yawned. The first 100 pages were exciting, they drew me in, captivated by some moments and the words of the author. The rest, was a slow steady fall down a steep hill into the gray pond of dissatisfaction. 

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

I don’t want to seem too disgruntled (I know, to late), yet this novel is one of the few, that I’d like to send back to the agent and editor to ask, “What were you thinking?” The characters are endearing, in the beginning, yet never grow, or grow to slowly. The loneliness of the old man with his famous estranged son, is palpable. 99% of this novel reads like a Lifetime Movie. I was expecting the Golden Girls to thank me for being a friend as I turned the page. 

This is literary chick lit at it’s worst. I don’t want to smack down the author to hard, because she does have a sense for the written word and spacing, there is much good inside these many pages. Yet overwhelmingly, it’s a young voice, new and untested, trying to fit an old mans nature. I can’t help wondering, not about the story itself, yet how the book made it through the many hurdles of the publishing industry. 

Read The History of Love, only if you want to test your patience. Do check the 5 star reviews on Amazon and the 1 star for comparisons sake.

Do leave a comment if you disagree.