The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn

You know a book is going to be good when it opens with this quote:

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all." 
- Harriet Van Horne

I'm pretty sure I gained at least 5 pounds just reading this book. If not, then over the next two weeks while I try out the recipes that follow most of the chapters I certainly will. I will enjoy every second from shopping to plating, though, because unlike Flinn... I am not being graded.

At 36, after finding herself having been made redundant while on vacation (so harsh,) Flinn takes her severance, her savings, and her boyfriend (who is an enabler, encouraging Flinn to follow her dream) and goes to Paris ti study at Le Cordon Bleu. We follow along with her as she explores Paris, entertains house guests, and drops food on the floor. We meet the other students and chefs (whose names have been changed) and Flinn manages to give us a peek into the classes while not revealing anything that the school would rather people enroll to learn. Even the recipes are Flinn's personal contributions or adaptations.

I devoured (haha) this book on a plane ride, and now I need to go to Paris and Culinary school. Flinn paints both with a brush so attractive that even the sketchy parts, the long hours, and the angry chefs come across as character building and endearing. In fact, the only thing that bothered me at all about her journey was that it wasn't longer. I wanted just a little bit more...but even as I say that I'm not sure where I wanted it to come from. The story is complete and just thorough enough. Perhaps what it I'm wanting is to read the next chapter - how much longer did they stay in Paris? What did she do with her newfound skills (aside from the book, obviously.) What is Mike doing? Her sister? What ever happened to the awful houseguests? Her classmates?  I want a sequel. And a movie. Thankfully, when you ask...the internet delivers.

Go, read, cook, eat.


Bethany said...

That sound interesting! I'll have to check it out.

hotel in bandung said...
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Bethany said...

I just now finished this. Thanks for recommending it. I liked it! I love novels about food. It's so sensuous, even if she's just talking about life and getting to know Paris, etc. Can't wait to see the film.

The use of French annoyed me a bit, particularly at the end when we're without a translator, as I don't speak a lick of French. And as a vegetarian, I'm sure I didn't appreciate parts of this as much as others would, but I can't fault the author for that.

Emily said...

I was worried about the cavalier nature with which they approached the many, many types of animal parts. I should have included a warning: parts of this might put you off your dinner. (and I separated a chicken yesterday.)

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