Starting From Scratch

Starting From Scratch

Book - 2010
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Why is someone who just defended her doctoral dissertation still wasting her time at her childhood home, two months after her mother's funeral, making coq au vin and osso buco? Olivia Tschetter, the youngest of four high-achieving South Dakotan siblings, is not returning to "normal"--or to graduate school-- quickly enough to suit her family. She wants only to bury herself in her mother's kitchen, finding solace in their shared passion for cooking.

Threatened with grief counseling, Olivia accepts a temporary position at the local Meals on Wheels, where she stumbles upon some unfinished business from her mother's past--and a dark family secret. Startling announcements from two siblings also challenge the family's status quo. The last thing she needs is a deepening romantic interest in a close but platonic (she thought) friend.

But while Olivia's mother is gone, her memory and spirit continue to engage Olivia, who finds herself daring to speak when she would never have spoken before. Told with humor and compassion, Starting from Scratch explores the shifting of family dynamics in the wake of shattering loss and the healing power of cooking.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2010.
Edition: First Touchstone trade pbk. edition
ISBN: 9781439143162
Branch Call Number: GILBERT-
Characteristics: 322 pages ; 21cm.


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Mar 04, 2013

I loved this book! Sibling rivalry never dies, parents do and it takes time to sort your mind out while grieving. The cooking theme and newsletter gave the action a big base of heart and soul.

Sep 04, 2012

It was a story that involved a lot of cooking by the main character. I enjoy cooking so I appreciate novel characters who also like cooking but reading this book often made me hungry. Olivia is morning the loss of her mother who dies in an accident. Her mother is the only one who knows that she defended her doctoral thesis early but never learns the outcome. Olivia is finding it tough to get on with her life. One of her coping strategies is to spend time cooking her mother's recipes and relax into the act of cooking. She meets an old friend of her mother's who helps to answer some family secrets and Olivia is able to help her mother's friend with some family issues as well. Meeting and helping her mother's friend allows Olivia to begin moving forward in her life.

The family dynamics are very interesting. I am also one of 4 siblings. It is so very hard to leave our childish insecurities behind when we are with our siblings. The interactions were very authentic.

The recipes included in the novel look very tasty - especially Chocolate Puddle - will make this for sure!


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