Category: Fiction: Adult
Author: Laura Kalpakian
Copyright/published Year: 2006 by St Martins
Description: Animated as a family reunion, intimate as a lovers' picnic,
American Cookery serves up tradition and innovation in a family
novel based on the joy of cooking. The story is complete with
twenty-seven recipes from the life and tumultuous times of Eden
Eden was born in 1920 into a contentious California tribe, and
the ingredients of her life include her grandmother's reserve,
her aunt's instinct for action, and her mother's foggy warmth.
Seasoned with spicy herbs, and a few bitter ones, simmered and
stirred over time, these instincts shape her destiny.
Two strong-willed women-her grandmother Ruth Douglass and her
aunt Afton Lance-struggle to pull Eden from the comfy sloth of
her parents' home. Her ill-matched parents drift toward
financial collapse, and her father, pursuing phantom wealth,
takes the family to an Idaho mining town. He finds fulfillment
in Idaho, but Eden's mother breaks down, and Eden must shoulder
the household drudgery, burdens not in keeping with her
aspirations to be a journalist.
Eden's adventurous spirit takes her far from her faith and
family. She falls in love in wartime London and rides a
motorcycle across war-torn Belgium. After the war, still reeling
from a devastating loss, Eden returns to Southern California and
is hired by a newspaper, only to confront insidious opposition,
yet find an unexpected ally.
Then, in 1952, fate puts Eden Douglass in the path of a runaway
horse at Greenwater Movie Ranch, where they're filing a B-movie
Western. She falls flat on her face, and Matt March lifts her
from the dust. Charming and charismatic, with good looks, cowboy
boots, and appetite for life, and his VistaVision of the Western,
Matt ignites Eden's passion. Three months later, they elope to
In these exuberant California boom years, Eden nourishes Matt's
dreams, even though they are sauced with secrets and larded with
debt. He tests Eden's strengths and his children's love.
A big-cast book, American Cookery fulfills the wide
embrace of its title. The novel chronicles the stories behind
family recipes and the lives that touch Eden's-lives of horse
thieves, ranchers, railroad men, developers, dreamers, migrants,
immigrants, natives, Latter-Day Saints, sinners, silent-film
stars, sidekicks, and stunt people.
The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful emerge in these
pages as American Cookery serves up the whole gorgeous
banquet of life.
This book is new.