Ruth Reichl the former managing editor of the beloved, now defunct, Gourmet magazine has spread her literary talent to the fiction page with her first novel, Delicious! The story of Billie Breslin, a 20something frump (think the before Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada) who has dropped out of college to try her hand at being an editorial assistant at the historic “Delicious!” magazine. Billie has a remarkable, almost magical, palate that allows her to taste when a chef uses curry leaves in a meatball recipe or even knowing what myrtle and hyssop taste like.
When the magazine is shut down, Billie is left to honor the Delicious Guarantee—the magazine’s promise to make recipes right for its readers. Left quite literally on her own in the grand mansion that housed the “book,” Billie discovers a secret room with a cache of letters from readers, including a correspondence during World War II between a girl named Lulu and renowned writer James Beard.
The story is thin, the characters accessible yet not fully developed and the prose easy and understandable. So while this may sound like a meh review, I really enjoyed Delicious! It falls in line with Maeve Binchy–a book that presents some problem you know will be resolved well, all in a beautiful setting. Trade Dublin for Greenwich Village.
To place a hold: