Eat, Drink, and be . . .

Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My AppetitesBlue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is not so much about the love of food as it is about using food to fill the absence of love. As Tolstoy pointed out, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, and that certainly holds true in this fascinating and engaging memoir. Christensen chronicles a series of dysfunctional relationships, from her abusive father to her incompatible lovers, awash in a sea of alcohol and punctuated by bouts of depression. At times, the book seems like an extended therapy session. Christensen, however, not surprisingly, is perceptive, funny, and a trifle acerbic. It is not hard to believe that she is yet another successful novelist with a messy personal life. And for all that food is a proxy for love, the recipes are mouth watering. If only life were as straightforward as cooking.

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