Tuesday, June 17, 2014

First Chapter Review: The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee

The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee releases today. I received a copy from the publisher.

BLURB:  With the glass kitchen, Linda Francis Lee has served up a novel that is about the courage it takes to follow your heart and be yourself. A true recipe for life.

Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run The Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan . . . and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream. The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.

COVER: I love this clever design. The painted Mason jars filled with flowers are the perfect smack of color against that light background. Those colors are continued in the font for the text. I'm guessing there are three to symbolize Portia and her two sisters. This cover is warm and inviting like a kitchen.

FIRST CHAPTER: Portia was only seven years old when she first displayed a special gift. Years pass and Portia meets an up-and-coming state senator. The two fall in love, but Robert doesn't appreciate or like Portia's gift. When tragedy strikes, Portia is determined to ignore her gift and her Gram's restaurant, The Glass Kitchen, for good.

KEEP READING: Even though I'm not a huge fan of a first chapter that sets the entire scene for what follows, I'm so intrigued by this novel I'm still eager to continue. The first chapter of The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee can be seen as a lengthy prologue that spans several years of Portia's life. By introducing the characters this way, you get a well-rounded picture of Portia and the major players in her life, so that when her life is thrown off course there is a breaking point before Portia's new life--the unexpected one--happens.

Lee sprinkles in just the right amount of description and detail to paint pictures for the reader that are just as beautiful as the cover art that graces her book. This aspect helped to charm me as I read through the early part of Portia's life: the part the reader needs to understand so they can appreciate how her plans got derailed.

This is definitely a book filled with characters I want to get to know better; especially because the blurb hints at long-held secrets and I am a sucker for books including those.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (June 17, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312382278
ISBN-13: 978-0312382278

This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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