The Mouse-proof Kitchen

The Mouse-proof Kitchen

A Novel

Book - 2013
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Life is messy . . . but it's the messy bits that give it meaning.

Anna thought she had it all figured out . . . but fate had other plans.

When Anna, a chef by profession, discovers she's pregnant, she prepares to leave dreary London behind and move to idyllic Provence, France, with her husband, Tobias, and her lovable baby-to-be. But she's suddenly forced to reevaluate her dreams when their baby is born less than perfect. Little do Anna and Tobias know that the change in plans sparked by Freya's birth is the beginning of an incredible journey of the heart. Along the way, they discover that there truly is no such thing as a mouseproof kitchen, and though life sometimes gets a little messy, it's the messy bits that give it meaning.

The couple and their new daughter end up in a vermin-infested farmhouse in a remote town in France--far from the mansion in Provence they'd originally imagined. Their rickety home is falling down around them, the village is involved in a decades-old trauma, and even the charms of the region's lavender fields and a budding romance between two of their young neighbors can't distract from the fact that Freya's hospital stays are becoming frighteningly frequent. Anna must draw on reserves of strength she never knew she had just to keep going from day to day. But will it be enough to keep her family together--and her daughter safe?

Told with humor and warmth, The Mouse-Proof Kitchen is a moving and thought-provoking story about how the best parts of life are often the most complicated.
Publisher: New York : Emily Bestler Books/Atria, 2013.
Edition: First Emily Bestler BooksAtria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476705644
Branch Call Number: SHAH S
Characteristics: 337 pages ; 24 cm.


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Mar 21, 2017

I found this book to be a touching and compelling story about a couple trying to deal with the consequences and complications when their daughter is born with severe birth defects. I thought the reactions and descriptions of the couple's reactions and communication were very authentic and understandable while still heartbreaking. The description of Anna's emotions, especially right after her daughter's birth, when she is swinging between this overwhelming mother love and then agreeing with Tobias that maybe they should just leave her at the hospital because of how it would affect their future plans, is so vivid that you feel like you are right there in her shoes. There are other details that ring very true too, for example, how do you tell people that you're daughter is handicapped. I enjoyed the description of the land and people in France, and how they are gradually accepted into the community. (Spoiler alert) I was very happy that they decided to keep taking care of Freya and that Anna and Tobias finally figure out how to communicate with each other. I didn't think they needed the addition of the perfect twins to make a happy ending since they had finally figured out how to work together as a family. I am a sucker for a happy ending, so I am glad that Anna figured out how to improve her relationship with her mom, and that Lizzy got better, and the other couple got married. I enjoyed reading this book!

Jan 19, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed this memorable story of French culture, language, food and gardening. Sad are the complicated feelings of a parent dealing with the suffering of a child. The author knew first hand in reality of this and it was evident.

madison382 Aug 01, 2013

This story is about a young couple getting ready to give birth to their first child, as in every new parents we expect our newborn to be perfect, however this was not so with this couple, the child was severely brain damaged, the husband thought they should leave the child at the hospital, but the mother just look at her child and fell in love. Don't want to give away too much, but a good read and you will see that only a mother can feel this kind of love for a newborn, whether normal or mentally challenged.


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