Saturday, May 7, 2016

Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family by Diana Abu-Jaber

Diana Abu-Jaber tosses in a bit of this, a pinch of that, and a smidgen of the other to create a thoroughly engaging meal in Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family. Abu-Jaber pulls together American life and the influence of her father's Jordanian roots in a book that spoke to me in unexpected ways. Her descriptions of being in the kitchen with her grandmother made me long to be in the kitchen with mine just one more time. Fond memories from my own life stirred as she described her experience with her grandmother and then with her father sprinkled with her journey toward and into motherhood. When she describes obstacles encountered as she ventured out from her family's belief systems, I nodded and smiled. Abu-Jaber tapped the moment we all share when our opinions, experiences, and choices veer away from the recipe we've been assigned to create a life much more delicious. She explores love and loss and desire and need along side insecurity and confidence and self-discovery and growth. Abu-Jaber demonstrates the connection we all share with a life recipe that is sometimes overcooked, sometimes undercooked, sometimes too salty, sometimes too sweet as we search for the perfect ingredient to balance all the flavors to find the most delicious result. Life Without a Recipe is the story of a woman who knows her recipe is still being written...

This review is written based on a free advance reading copy provided by the publisher.


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