This book had all kinds of indicators in its description that made me think it was right up my alley. However, I just found it disappointing. I think the most obvious problem, as an audiobook, was the narrator. I'm sorry to say I found her delivery lacking. What really annoyed me was the way she read the voices for the male characters. It was so forced and artificial, I couldn't buy it. There was a male character who was an MIT-educated software developer, and he sounded like a whiny surfer dude. Why? This may be a cosmetic sort of criticism, but it really bugged me. The story itself I found to be "just okay," not awful, but not terribly gripping either. I didn't hate it.
The first chapter of this book I thought I was really going to like it. Then each chapter after was through the perspective of a new character. It got to the point that I didn't know who the main character was, who I cared about (if any of them at all) and maybe most importantly who the "cookbook collector" was... Honestly, there are so many characters it's kind of ridiculous to think we should remember all of them (or care about them), especially when listening to an audiobook and you don't have the ability to look back at previous chapters to figure out who's who . I find the author goes on tangents, which then causes me to lose my attention, only to find that when I start paying attention again I ultimately feel as though I haven't even missed anything. I would have stopped listening to this after the first few chapters but since I spent the money I forced myself to finish. I'm glad that I did finish as the second half of the book stayed more with one character which I found more interesting. Also, just a warning, eventually Sept. 11, 2001 plays a role with one of the characters and having lived next to the world trade center I wasn't prepared to go back to that date and the emotions from that day. It took me off guard and think there should be a warning... Overall, not a book I'd recommend.
Like I said I didn't finish listening to the book. This is for two reasons: First, as mentioned by other reviewers, the narrator takes away from the story. I mostly had a problem with the accents and the voices for the male characters. Otherwise her performance was fine. Second, the story is soooooo slow to take off. I've started on this book several times and give up after a couple of hours because I am just so bored with the characters and the plot. This last time I stopped almost four hours in and there are no sparks of curiosity or interest for what may happen next. There is only a dread for what seems to be inevitable romantic debacles.Then again I may be wrong, but I'm not going to listen through the whole thing to find out.