“..the hardest question we have to ask ourself in this life is, “who am I?”. Ideally, we answer it for ourselves, but be warned that others will strive to do it for you, so don’t let them”
Thank you, Dutton Books, for gifting me an advanced copy of Karma Brown’s book, Recipe for a Perfect Wife.
“When Alice Hale leaves a career in publicity to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in a box in the old home’s basement, she becomes captivated by the cookbook’s previous owner–1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the cookbook’s pages Nellie left clues about her life–including a mysterious series of unsent letters penned to her mother.
Soon Alice learns that while baked Alaska and meatloaf five ways may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but. When Alice uncovers a more sinister–even dangerous–side to Nellie’s marriage and has become increasingly dissatisfied with the mounting pressures in her own relationship, she begins to take control of her life and protect herself with a few secrets of her own.”
Okay, in complete honesty here, the first thing that drew me to this book was the title. How could I possibly pass up reading a book that incorporates cooking into the title? Then once I read the synopsis, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of this book.
I should start by saying that the storyline focuses on some heavy topics. I always like to give a trigger warning as I understand how difficult some topics may be for people to read, especially if they are using it as an escape from their life. Recipe for a Perfect Wife circles around domestic violence throughout the entirety of the book. At first, I was surprised that the story took such a dark turn but after re-reading the synopsis, I can see that it’s insinuated. If you have any concerns, please message me so we can discuss it further.
Overall, I loved this book. It was fascinating and I didn’t want to put it down. I loved the dual-narrative storyline and how each chapter switched back and forth between the life of 1950s housewife, Nellie and then to 2018 with Alice Hale. I really couldn’t get enough of both characters.
Karma Brown did an extraordinary job in painting such a real-life take on what it was like to live in the 1950s. I found that I was constantly holding my breath in anticipation of what was to come in each chapter. Recipe for a Perfect Wife truly was a mesmerizing page-turner. I can’t say enough about how much I loved this book.
I also enjoyed how each chapter began with a quote from a book published in the early 1900s or one of Nellie’s deliciously sinful recipes. I will certainly be giving one of her recipes a go; I would love to say that I’m ambitious enough to attempt a Baked Alaska, but I don’t think mine would turn out as beautiful as Nellie’s did.
Thank you, Dutton Books and Karma Brown for gifting me an advanced copy of this book.
“There are plenty of reasons to marry that have nothing to do with love. And you can be head over heels in love and not get married. But no mater what, you should never marry someone unless you believe you’ll die – one way or another – without that person. They should feel more important to you than oxygen. Otherwise, you’ll suffocate, one anniversary at a time.”
Recipe for a Perfect Wife will be published on January 21, 2020, and I highly recommend you add this book to your reading list. You won’t be disappointed.