At thirty-three, talented chef Georgia Gray has everything a woman could want—the top job at one of Manhattan’s best restaurants; smart and savvy gal pals; and an engagement ring courtesy of Glenn, the handsome lawyer. The table is set for the ambitious bride-to-be until a scathing restaurant review destroys her reputation. To add salt to her wounds, Glenn suddenly calls off the wedding.
Brokenhearted, Georgia escapes to the Italian countryside, where she sharpens her skills at a trattoria run by a world-class chef. Georgia quells her longings with Italy’s delectable offerings: fine wine, luscious cheeses, cerulean blue skies, and irresistible Gianni—an expert in the vineyard and the bedroom. But an appetite for something more looms large in Georgia’s heart – the desire to run her own restaurant in the city she loves. Having left New York with her career in flames, she’ll need to stir up more than just courage if she’s to realize her dreams and find her way home. (from publisher's synopsis)
The Food Network has created a nation of would-be chefs and food geeks, and you can count me as one of the geekiest. Couple that with my love of all things Italian, and I was destined to love this book - and I did. The details of life in a professional kitchen and the intricacies of opening a new restaurant fascinated me as much as the actual story.
Georgia's tale runs the gamut of emotions from pain to fear to excitement to trepidation to love and lust and joy. The writing is simple - in the best sense of that word. Ms. Nelson conveys all of those feelings without unnecessary, wordy descriptions. The story flowed smoothly - you know how I hate long pauses in the action - while still involving me in the thought processes and emotions.
The scenes in Italy were my favorite, naturally. Again Ms. Nelson used simple, well written phrases to draw out images and senses that the reader already has of Italy, it's culture and, of course, it's food.
Unlike Ms. Nelson's considerable talent, my writing is failing me severly in this review. I can't find the words to conjur up the images she paints, so you'll just have to trust me that this book is a must read. It's a culinary lesson, an Italian vacation, and a beautifully written story of chasing a dream.