Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Pinch of Love-Alicia Bessette

A Pinch of Love

Alicia Bessette

Plume, Oct 25 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9780452297111

In Wippamunk, Rose Ellen Roy, known better as Zell, remains grieving for her deceased husband Nick, who died one year ago while on a volunteer mission of relief in New Orleans following Katrina. With her dog Ahab at her side, she wears his camouflage apron as a means of remaining connected to Nick though she does not cook, but cannot enter the attic filled with their memories.

A fire caused by Zell’s first use of the stove since Nick’s death brings Garrett Knox, his replacement at the Wippamunker to her place. She informs the Chief that the cooking fire was caused by the postman bringing her Meals in a Cinch with Polly Pinch. Zell says she was baking cookies for her new neighbor, Garrett’s motherless nine year old daughter Ingrid. The two females soon plan to enter the uplifting cooking contest that the Polly Cinch flyer proclaimed.

This is an interesting character study of a woman who is beginning to move through the phases of grief due to her new neighbors especially the somewhat too precocious Ingrid encouraging her to bake meals and treats. The cast is fully developed including the late Nick and even Ahab has a personality as readers will enjoy Zell baking a new recipe for life though she still feels survivor guilt.

Harriet Klausner

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