Monday, 27 June 2016

Review: DINNER WITH EDWARD by Isabel Vincent

Source: Received an ARC through work. All opinions are my own.
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Number of Pages: 224 (Hardcover)

Description from Goodreads:
“I loved every moment of this book . . . Everyone deserves their own Edward--and everyone deserves to read this book.” —Susannah Cahalan, bestselling author of Brain on Fire

When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter--who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York--Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflĂ© will end up changing her life.

As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Dinner with Edward is a book about love and nourishment, and about how dinner with a friend can, in the words of M. F. K. Fisher, “sustain us against the hungers of the world.”

“A rare, beautifully crafted memoir that leaves you exhilarated and wanting to live this way. Edward is a marvel of resilience and dignity, and Vincent shows us that the ceremony of food is really a metaphor for love. The key is to live your life generously.” —Rosemary Sullivan, author of Stalin’s Daughter

“Isabel Vincent delves deeply into matters of the kitchen and the heart with equal and unabashed passion . . . Rich with description of meals savored, losses grieved, and moments cherished, it’s at once tender, revealing, and utterly enchanting!” —*Gail Simmons, judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and author of Talking with My Mouth Full  

“One of the most stylish and emotional works of nonfiction I have ever read. I savored every page.” —Bob Colacello, author Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up

“Although the food (I am partial to the roast chicken, lovingly described) is excellent, it is the charming and effortlessly wise company that makes this sweet read
a charming way to pass a day.” —George Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Bettyville

“Delightfully combining the warm-heartedness of Tuesdays with Morrie with the sensual splendor of Julie and Julia. This is a memoir to treasure.” Booklist, starred review

I rarely read nonfiction, but sometimes I can't resist a great sounding story. Usually I go for travel narratives, but I loved the sound of DINNER WITH EDWARD and couldn't resist giving it a shot. I ended up absolutely adoring DINNER WITH EDWARD, and it actually blew me away how much I loved it!!!

I loved reading about how Isabel's life changed during the time she spent getting to know Edward and I also thought that it was wonderful getting to know Edward through Isabel's narrative. He imparted so much wisdom and even reading about his amazing cooking skills made me marvel...I can't even imagine how scrumptious everything he made tasted!!!

The writing was fabulous, and the story itself was inspiring and uplifting. I may not be able to fully relate to all of Isabel's struggles because I simply haven't experienced all that she has yet, but I still loved reading about her dinners with Edward and I found both her commentary and Edward's advice to be extremely encouraging.

I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for more nonfiction after reading DINNER WITH EDWARD! I've been missing out! I think that this is the perfect nonfiction title to appeal to readers who like inspiring stories, but don't necessarily regularly read nonfiction, and I wholeheartedly recommend it! 

What do you think?

Does DINNER WITH EDWARD sound like something you'd enjoy?

And when was the last time you read a book in a genre you don't normally read that surprised you?

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