The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

7960890I’m piteously behind on the reading challenge, but I keep plugging along. When my commute changes this fall, I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to catch up or at least read more than one book a month.

Melissa Senate has been one of my favorite authors since I first saw See Jane Date on Lifetime and decided to read the book it was based on. Sometimes, her books are funny, sometimes poignant. But this one was just exactly what I needed to read today, as I’m moving apartments and spending most of the day just sitting, waiting for various deliveries and technicians to make their appointments. It’s a story of coming to a new, old place and finding yourself at home, making old traditions your own and creating a life for yourself that you always knew you deserved.

I loved the main character, who comes back to a tiny town in Maine, as her grandmother passes, and takes over her grandmother’s cooking school. She’s brokenhearted, but quickly finds ways to throw herself into being a teacher, a friend, a surrogate mother and soon, a girlfriend again. Senate includes the recipes in the back of the book and I feel like I should copy them, even though I can’t cook at all. All the characters Holly runs into by chance and on purpose are well-drawn and interesting. Everyone has their burdens they are working through, but no one is insufferable about it.

Senate also has a great way of describing Maine. Just like last time, reading about Blue Crab island, makes me want to ditch this metropolis and go to Maine right this second. I’ve been to Maine once and didn’t find it all that charming, but these beautiful houses with charming men and rowboats just tug at me. I guess good writing can do that!