After years of working at her grandmother’s restaurant, “The Glass Kitchen”, Portia Cuthcart- a native Texan- finds herself divorced and having to move to New York City. Penniless and with nothing more but a handful of her grandmother’s cookbooks, she’s struggling to rebuild her life. In an attempt to reclaim her sense of self, Portia is reminded of one thing that she’s been trying very hard to forget: she has a gift.. the very same gift that her grandmother once had: “the knowing”.
“Sometimes we have to be brave in order to dig deep and find answers. Even if we’re not sure we’re going to like the answers.”
When she woke up with a taste of crisp, green apples smothered in brown sugar and spice, Portia felt the immense need to bake. Next thing she knew, her older sister Cordelia was at her door, demanding she makes her one of her famous apple cakes. When one morning she felt the urge to make chocolate and cinnamon chili coated peanuts, it came to her as no surprise when her neighbor complained of cold congestion. After all, chocolate and cinnamon chili coated peanuts are a perfect remedy just for that. That was Portia’s gift. The “knowing” was the gift that she resented, but couldn’t suppress. She knew of things that were going to happen before they occurred. It was with the help of her two sisters, Cordelia and Olivia that Portia gave in into “the knowing” and decided to bring “The Glass Kitchen” back to life, this time in the heart of New York City. In the midst of Portia’s attempt to find herself and trying to adjust to the life in the Big Apple, she finds herself growing close to her upstairs neighbor, Gabriel Kane- a wealthy widower- and his two teenage daughters, Ariel and Miranda. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that the Kane family holds few mysteries and secrets of their own.
“Some things are true whether you believe them or not.”
“The Glass Kitchen” is unlike anything I’ve read before (I don’t usually go for books involving romance). Once I started reading it, I literally couldn’t put it down and finished it in two days. If I could use one word to describe it, it would be “charming”. This book will make you laugh (at one point Portia gets a job at a Burger place and finds herself running down the streets of New York on a hot summer day, dressed as a Hamburger :D ) and cry during moving moments where certain characters start to question themselves or their identities. It’s a story about romance, family drama, mystery, finding your inner strength and staying true to yourself. Portia is such a fun, quirky and complex character that I think many girls can identify with. She seems to be lost and confused at times, but she also has a very strong and robust side to her. I loved the culinary background behind this novel as well; each chapter starts with a course and the author, Linda Francis Lee, even included a few recipes at the end of the book (this Avocado and Grapefruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing was inspired by one of the recipes found in the book). “The Glass Kitchen” is a perfect summer read, it’s light, magical and filled with heartfelt emotions, stories of betrayal, good humor and very interesting plots. Whether you’re a foodie or not, this book and its likable characters will keep you engaged and anxious until the very last page.