Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jenn's Review: Comfort Food

Summary: Shortly before turning 50, TV cooking show personality Augusta “Gus” Simpson discovers that the network wants to boost her ratings by teaming her with a beautiful, young new co-host. But Gus isn’t going without a fight—whether it’s off-set with her two demanding daughters, on-camera with the ambitious new diva herself, or after-hours with Oliver, the new culinary producer who’s raising Gus’s temperature beyond the comfort zone. Now, in pursuit of higher ratings and culinary delights, Gus might be able to rejuvenate more than just her career.

Review: In my quest for food-lit, and having heard so many good things about Kate Jacobs, I thought I'd give this a try... and, having now read my first Jacobs novel, I confess myself disappointed.

I'm an avid Food Network viewer and I couldn't help but notice that a lot of the character of Gus is ripped straight from Paula Deen's biography, with minor chnages of course. I think this would have been easier for me to accept if she hadn't made it so blatant by making reference to personalities and shows on the Food Network, all the while excluding Ms. Deen. It was extremely off-putting and because of that, I had a hard time getting into this book. When she finally started moving away from that and developing her own characters, it became more engaging. Unfortunately, it took way too long to get there... it wasn't until almost the last third of the book.

Jacobs writing style also doesn't sit well with me. She continually drops bomb-shell like plot exposition and I had to keep back-tracking to make sure that I hadn't skimmed over and missed something earlier in the story. There were sentence fragments and lots of little plot inconsistencies (for example, how does a woman who lost her husband to a car accident not wear a seat belt?!?) that I found nagging.

Also, I even have trouble with qualifying this as food-lit because it really glosses over the food as a whole. There is none of the culinary passion that can be found in an Erica Bauermeister or Sarah Addison Allen novel where the food makes the story. It was more chick-lit formulaic and the denouement was quick and entirely too tidy.

Will I read Jacobs again? I'm not sure, I'm a little nonplussed about it.

Final Take 2.9/5


Julie July 7, 2009 at 9:57 AM  

Ouch! I enjoyed her Friday Night Knitting Club books but I still have this one in my TBR pile.

Jenn July 7, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

Yeah, I was really disappointed. :(

Sheila DeChantal July 8, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

Good to know. I like honest reviews. I think I can pass on this one.

JR78 ,  May 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM  

I really enjoyed this book, as well as "Friday Night Knitting Club" and "Knit Two".

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