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Delicious!: A Novel
by Ruth Reichl

Published: 2014-05-06
Hardcover : 400 pages
5 members reading this now
64 clubs reading this now
10 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 6 of 7 members
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of ...
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Introduction

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you.
 
Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.
 
To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.

Praise for Delicious!
 
“Compulsively readable . . . a treat for anyone who loves a warm, character-packed tale—a delectable mix of flavor, fantasy, and emotional comfort food.”O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“[Reichl’s] New York is a fairy-tale town where beautiful food abounds. . . .  The novel presents a whole passel of surprises: a puzzle to solve; a secret room; hidden letters; the legacy of James Beard; and a parallel, equally plucky heroine from the past, who also happens to be a culinary prodigy.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Fascinating characters . . . There’s romance, intrigue, food history, and the fictional appearance of a very real American culinary icon.”—The Austin Chronicle

“Reichl’s vivid descriptions of food will have readers salivating, and an insider’s look at life at a food magazine is fascinating. Her satisfying coming-of-age novel of love and loss vividly demonstrates the power of food to connect people across cultures and generations.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“This savory feast of a first novel blends the rich gifts that readers of Reichl’s memoirs and food writing have come to expect. To a tantalizing coming-of-age story about a budding chef and journalist she adds a bittersweet tale of separated sisters.”More

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

How do thedevelopment of relationships in this book reflect your life experiences?
by Shawaker (see profile) 03/09/17

The questions in the back helped to get the discussion going.
by Beachbum13 (see profile) 09/17/15

How did you feel about Lulu initially not wanting to be part of the story?
by MrsLee (see profile) 09/16/15

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Fun Foodie Evening
by phesselbart (see profile) 09/19/16
We had a huge Antipasto Platter a la Fontana with Italian wines. We ended the evening with Billie's Ginger Cake. Of course!

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by EGarrandes (see profile) 05/28/18

 
  "Delicious"by Start (see profile) 03/22/18

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to those who want to read a fun and interesting book.

 
  "Delicious"by Shawaker (see profile) 03/09/17

Fun story; good "beach book"! The food/cooking details and Word War II background material made it interesting.

 
by cmorsch (see profile) 03/09/17

 
by luttropp (see profile) 03/09/17

There were too many story lines in his book. It was entertaining but not very well written.

 
  "Delicious!"by phesselbart (see profile) 09/19/16

There was so much in this book; drama, history, mystery, romance; all centered around food! What's not to like? We had the best book club discussion talking about our food memories and talents.

 
by Gardening Gail (see profile) 09/19/16

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