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The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate

Melissa Senate is a well established novelist apparently.  She's had at least one novel adapted for a TV movie on the ABC Family channel.  The Love Goddess' Cooking School is not her first novel--it is her TENTH!  But for the fact that the text of the novel itself is rife with typos throughout the entire book, one would think that it is a debut.  There are missing words, words in the wrong form, etc.  For whatever reason this book had a crap copy editor and the mistakes kind of take a little away from the story. They're just enough of a distraction when they pop up that they pull the reader out of the story a little bit because you have to go back and read it again to make sure that yes, that really is a typo, and then you have to go back and read it again to figure out what that typo should be corrected to.  It's a shame because it's a charming story, and I enjoyed reading it, except for all the typos.

When Holly's 16, her Italian grandmother, Camilla, reads her Po River stones for Holly's love fortune: Holly's one true love will like sa cordula, a nasty, detestable, old world delicacy of stuffed lamb intestines and peas.  Yes, you read that right.  Stuffed.  Lamb.  Intestines.  Which is even worse than stuffed pig's stomach, Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy as it were.

Anyway.  In the years following college Holly has trailed one man after another across the country and back again and cross country again, content to allow her love life and relationships dictate her life and where she lives it.  Meanwhile, she's 30 now and has endured an endless string of go nowhere, dead end relationships with men of whom none liked sa cordula and thus, were not her true love.  This knowledge serves as small comfort for a broken heart when Holly's latest relationship ends suddenly.  Despairing that true love may not be in the cards for her, Holly also realizes that she's neglected finding herself and establishing an enjoyable career for the sake of seeking a lasting love.

In the wake of Holly's most recent failed love affair and shattered heart, she returns home to her grandmother's small bungalow on insular Blue Crab Island, off the coast of Portland, Maine.  Her grandmother, a proprietor of a famous fortune telling business, successful Italian cooking school, and Italian food take out business, comforts Holly.  But two weeks after Holly's return, her grandmother dies, leaving Holly everything--the businesses and the bungalow.  Despite the fact that she's not all knowing like her grandmother and cannot cook to save her life, Holly is determined and desperate to keep the cooking businesses going as a legacy to her grandmother.  Before long Holly realizes that cooking isn't just a tribute to her grandmother, it's also a comfort to her and has turned out to be something that she loves doing.

As Holly struggles to keep the businesses going, she bonds with the students of her first, tiny cooking class, forming friendships and healing broken hearts and finally finding a home for herself.  On the surface this is a love story, however, it is also about the healing powers of food and friendship.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


Jojo P. said…
This well developed story left me satisfied and inspired to try my hand at some Italian cooking.


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