Title: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Thoughts: I so wanted to love this. Hello, a book about cooking in Minnesota. One of the chapters is titled “Lutefisk.” Another is titled “Bars.” Has there ever been a more me book written? However, I ultimately found this hard to follow and a little all over the place. It’s ostensibly about the main character, Eva, but we only ever learn about her through other characters, rarely through herself. I think this might be an easier read if you sat and read it in one sitting, but picking it up proved challenging to me as I struggled to remember where in time the characters were during my last read.
“She loved that about him. They were each outcasts in their own way, and even though he was way more fearless and tough than she’d ever be, he looked after her, and she knew nothing bad would ever happen to her if he was around.” (p. 47)
“He sometimes talked about her as if her death were a jackknifed semi on the road ahead. Will viewed it more like the giant crack in their concrete driveway; he felt it, saw it, and walked over it every day, but it was too big and strange to fix.” (p. 103)
“Cindy was surprised. ‘Oh. Can you tell me where she’s from?’ ‘Same place as me,’ Randy said. ‘A place that’s gone.'” (p. 287)