The Recipe Box: A Novel

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"Filled with cherished memories and treasured recipes, The Recipe Box is a touching tribute to the women and food that unite us and connect our past to the present." —Richard Paul Evans, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"An easy, delightful novel" –Good Housekeeping

In The Recipe Box, bestselling beloved author Viola Shipman spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha “Sam” Mullins felt trapped on her family’s orchard and pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star’s New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family’s orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life—including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family’s history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.

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About the author

VIOLA SHIPMAN is a penname for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his writing. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered. He is the author of The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Thomas Dunne Books
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Published on
Mar 20, 2018
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781250165329
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Food, family, and secrets combine in Cathy Lamb’s emotional and deeply honest novel as one woman discovers the recipes and life lessons that have shaped her family’s past, and could guide her toward a second chance at happiness.

Two years ago, Olivia Martindale left behind her Montana hometown and her husband, Jace, certain it was the best decision for both of them. Back temporarily to protect her almost-adopted daughters from their biological mother, she discovers an old, handwritten cookbook in the attic. Its pages are stained and torn, their edges scorched by flame. Some have been smeared by water . . . or tears. The recipes are written in different hands and in different languages. In between the pages are intriguing mementos, including a feather, a pressed rose, a charm, and unfamiliar photographs.

Hoping the recipes will offer a window into her grandmother’s closely guarded past, Olivia decides to make each dish, along with their favorite family cake recipes, and records her attempts. The result, like much of her life to date, involves a parade of near-disasters and chaotic appearances by her doctor mother, her blunt grandma, her short-tempered sister, and Olivia’s two hilarious daughters. The project is messy, real—and an unintended hit with viewers.

Even more surprising is the family history Olivia is uncovering, and her own reemerging ties to Montana, and to Jace. Generations of women have shared these recipes, offering strength and nourishment to each other and their loved ones. Now it’s Olivia’s turn to find healing—and determine where her home and her heart truly belong.
"An impressive and heartfelt debut that will appeal to many readers, this charming and sensitive mother/daughter story captures the struggle between protection and isolation."—Library Journal

Meg May's mother has created a life out of stories. Outlandish stories that can't possibly be true. And when sickness threatens to hide the truth of her past forever, Meg must convince her imaginative and free-spirited mother tell her what is real.
As charming as the stories she's been told are, they aren't enough for Meg anymore. As she and her mother spend one last summer together, Meg tries to convince her mother to reveal a thing about who they used to be—and who they are now.

Full of quirky humor and depth of feeling, From the Kitchen of Half Truth is a delicious debut contemporary novel. Fans of Chocolat (Joanne Harris), The School of Essential Ingredients (Erica Bauermeister), and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Aimee Bender) will be charmed by this unobtrusive look at mother daughter relationships and the powerful exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to create the lives we want.

Full of quirky humor and depth of feeling, From the Kitchen of Half Truth is a delicious debut contemporary novel.

What reviewers are saying about The Kitchen of Half Truth

"[A] touching debut novel about the relationship between a mother and daughter" —Publishers Weekly

"There are some novels that grip you with a story so unique, yet so heart wrenching that you can't stop reading. From the Kitchen of Half Truth was just such a novel."—Laura's Reviews

"Held me captivated from first to last word ... You'll find just a little piece of yourself in all the wonderful characters."—Long and Short Reviews

" Funny, tender, quirky, and heartfelt, From the Kitchen of Half Truth is for anyone who has daydreamed about the future or been shocked to find something unexpected in the past."—Booklist

"A gorgeous tale of love, loss and making sense of the past ... filled with energy and life."—RT Book Reviews

"A story about understanding and compassion and how people often distort the truth to protect themselves and others, Goodin's narrative contains moments of eloquence, wit and sensitivity."—Kirkus

Anna Del Maso had known that she wanted to be a chef since she was in the seventh grade. "Somehow everything in my life ends up being about food," she realizes, as she begins the latest of her food-themed quilts. Her twin passions have converged in a brand-new position as head chef for Elm Creek Quilts, Waterford, Pennsylvania's popular quilting retreat.

As she joins the circle of quilters at historic Elm Creek Manor, Anna is eager to preserve the manor's culinary heritage, dating to 1858, while also celebrating the new favorites of their many guests. Yet as Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson well knows, the manor's kitchen, last updated in the 1940s, can't create food that compares to the state-of-the-art quilting instruction for which Elm Creek Quilts is renowned.

A full renovation of the kitchen must be completed by the start of the new camp season. Though the task is daunting, Anna is assured in her belief that "A kitchen is the heart of a home." As she and Sylvia begin to dismantle the old to make way for the new, Sylvia's reminiscences remind them both of just how many of the manor's traditions have involved food and celebrations. Whether the feast is one of the holiday menus prepared and enjoyed by generations of Bergstroms, or one of the Welcome Banquets and Farewell Breakfasts that have become hallmarks of Elm Creek Quilt Camp, there is a story for every recipe, and a recipe for every story.

The Quilter's Kitchen follows Anna's flavorful explorations of the kitchens of Elm Creek Manor, past and present. As she records beloved recipes and creates original dishes seasoned with love, she discovers anew how the gifts of the table gather friends and family ever closer.
No one writes about Italian-American families with the humor, warmth, and heart of Peter Pezzelli. Now, with Francesca's Kitchen, he delivers another winning novel about how much we need the closeness of family--even if we don't know it.

Where There's Food, There's Family

For years, Francesca Campanile was the queen of her home. Standing in her Rhode Island kitchen, making sauce from sun-ripened tomatoes, dropping in basil from her garden, and adding fresh onion, Francesca dispensed advice as liberally as she did the garlic, arguing nonstop with her son and two daughters.

It was wonderful.

But now, her children and their children have moved away. And for the widowed Francesca, no longer having a family around to pester, annoy, guide, love, harangue and, of course, cook for, makes her feel useless. Who is she without them? What she needs is another family that needs her, and when she sees Loretta Simmons's ad in the Providence paper for a part-time nanny, she's sure she's found it. All the single mom wants is someone to fill in for a few hours a day. But it's obvious to Francesca that Loretta and her kids need more--a lot more. Loretta's struggling to make ends meet. Every man she brings home is a disaster. And her kids could definitely use some guidance--and a little lasagna, frankly. In these frazzled, disconnected people, Francesca senses a hunger and loneliness as deep as her own. It's time for Francesca to work her magic--if she can--and the best place to start is the kitchen. . .

Funny and moving, with a heroine to adore, Francesca's Kitchen is a delicious story about sharing love, life, advice, and, above all, food.

Peter Pezzelli was born and raised in Rhode Island. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he lives with his wife, two children and their dog in Rhode Island where, most days, he is busy at work on his next novel. Every Sunday, however, if he's not riding his bike, you'll find him and his family at the dinner table, enjoying a plate of rabes and sausage, or a nice fritatta, or some other favorite Italian dish cooked up by his wife.



Praise for the Novels of Peter Pezzelli

Every Sunday

"A sweet, brave, and funny novel--with a heart as big as the entire state of Rhode Island." --Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs

Home To Italy

A BookSense Pick!

"A beautiful novel. . .Peter Pezzelli captures the warmth of Italy--family, friendships, and food--invites us into the world of his wonderful characters, and takes us full circle on a journey of life and love." --Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author

"Bighearted and wise, Home to Italy is a charming ode to the romance of new beginnings and the Italian gusto for life. Peter Pezzelli's tale of a widower who returns to his childhood town in Abruzzo to rebuild his life, only to be struck by the legendary thunderbolt of love, is a continuous delight."--Louisa Ermelino, author of Joey Dee Gets Wise

"With heartwarming touches of humor, Home to Italy reaffirms that life can always be renewed. This is a wonderfully satisfying romance that brings to life the sights, sounds and tastes of Italy." --Romantic Times

"A warmhearted novel, perfect for an autumn evening in front of the fire." --Litchfield Enquirer
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