Kitchens of the Great Midwest

Kitchens of the Great Midwest Review

When Lars Thorvald's wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine--and a dashing sommelier--he's left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He's determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter--starting with puréed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva's journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that's a testament to her spirit and resilience.

Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal's startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life--its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

Title:Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Edition Language:English

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    Kitchens of the Great Midwest Reviews

  • karen

    this is a book that uses that kooky structure i so enjoy when it's done right. like John's Wife and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, we learn about the life of one character, here eva thorvald, thr...

  • Roxane

    Warm and charming. Interesting narrative structure. At times, Eva felt a bit manic pixie dream girl. But it is really nice to see such a lovely novel about people from the Midwest. A really fine debut...

  • Diane

    This is a charming foodie novel. I had expected a sweet story, but the book ended up surprising me with its richness and depth. What I liked best about this book was how each chapter was told from a d...

  • Laurel

    Kitchens of the Great Midwest (or more aptly called “Eva’s Life by Way of Briefly Mentioning Food) takes Eva Thorvald rather rapidly from a newly-orphaned babe to a Scandinavian goddess with chipp...

  • Jennifer

    My, oh my, did I love this book.I'm not sure if it resonated so strongly because:a) I spent most of my growing-up years in the Midwestb) I married a man from Minnesotac) I have actually eaten lutefisk...

  • Erin

    Kitchens of the Great Midwest is hilarious without being cynical, touching without being overly sentimental, and wholly original. It is one of those rare books you can finish in a day or two, but won'...

  • Teresa

    Was I entertained? Yes.Did I love the book? No.Can he write? Definitely!Was I frustrated with the narration? Yes.Did I like the ending? I think so. The final chapter was far-fetched, but I enjoyed the...

  • Jaclyn Day

    I told a friend yesterday that this book is almost perfect. It’s so rare to read a novel that just makes you happy–that makes you smile at the end. I loved the story, starting from the moment Eva...

  • Diane S ?

    3.5 On the surface, and of course from the title it seems like this would be a book about food. It is but also much, much more. We first get to know Eva as a baby and from there each chapter is narrat...

  • N. Moss

    Oh my god I love this book. It careens in a way that has kept me in a tense place where I don't want to stop reading, but I don't want to rush the book either. The voice of each chapter is unique and ...