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Insightful,
Dark,
Dramatic

4 reviews

Delicious Foods: A Novel
by James Hannaham

Published: 2015-03-17
Hardcover : 384 pages
1 member reading this now
6 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 4 members
NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, Kirkus, BuzzFeed, National Post, Kansas City Star

TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Publishers Weekly
TOP 15 BOOKS OF THE YEAR: BookPage

Held captive by her employers--and by her own demons--on a mysterious farm, ...
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Introduction

NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York Times, Washington Post

A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, Kirkus, BuzzFeed, National Post, Kansas City Star

TOP 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Publishers Weekly
TOP 15 BOOKS OF THE YEAR: BookPage

Held captive by her employers--and by her own demons--on a mysterious farm, a widow struggles to reunite with her young son in this uniquely American story of freedom, perseverance, and survival.


Darlene, once an exemplary wife and a loving mother to her young son, Eddie, finds herself devastated by the unforeseen death of her husband. Unable to cope with her grief, she turns to drugs, and quickly forms an addiction. One day she disappears without a trace.

Unbeknownst to eleven-year-old Eddie, now left behind in a panic-stricken search for her, Darlene has been lured away with false promises of a good job and a rosy life. A shady company named Delicious Foods shuttles her to a remote farm, where she is held captive, performing hard labor in the fields to pay off the supposed debt for her food, lodging, and the constant stream of drugs the farm provides to her and the other unfortunates imprisoned there.

In Delicious Foods, James Hannaham tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them. Through Darlene's haunted struggle to reunite with Eddie, through the efforts of both to triumph over those who would enslave them, and through the irreverent and mischievous voice of the drug that narrates Darlene's travails, Hannaham's daring and shape-shifting prose infuses this harrowing experience with grace and humor.

The desperate circumstances that test the unshakeable bond between this mother and son unfold into myth, and Hannaham's treatment of their ordeal spills over with compassion. Along the way we experience a tale at once contemporary and historical that wrestles with timeless questions of love and freedom, forgiveness and redemption, tenacity and the will to survive.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

this work of fiction may not stray far from the truth of some people's lives
by chlene36 (see profile) 02/18/17

Who do you think the main characters in the story are, and how do you think they relate to each other?
Do you think Darlene was a victim of circumstance? Why or why not?
Which character narrative do you think is the most honest? Why?
by DavidTrice (see profile) 01/27/16

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

serve watermelon or local produce picked by people
by chlene36 (see profile) 02/18/17
Don't select this book
by overstock (see profile) 01/27/16
Too many other fantastic and truly good books to read.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Beautifully Written"by chlene36 (see profile) 02/18/17

After the first read through, I reread in chronological order then........read it a third time to highlight verses I found to be poetic such as "under her nasal tone something cared so strongly that Eddie... (read more)

 
  "Delicious Foods is not for all palates"by DavidTrice (see profile) 01/27/16

Delicious Foods is a deep dive story that insightfully dives into themes of racism, slavery, addiction, and parent/child relationships, among others. Although not perfectly presented, the characters selected... (read more)

 
  "Delicious Foods"by PeggySue64 (see profile) 01/27/16

A dark story about slavery in many forms--addiction, unscrupulous businesses, and self-imposed. Not an easy or comfortable read, but very well-written and characters well-developed.

 
  "delicious foods isn't delicious"by overstock (see profile) 01/27/16

This book is written poorly. It is hard to read. Why waste your time on this book when there are many, many excellent books out there. This book does not belong on the list of good books.

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