I was really looking forward to this but it's read by someone named Kate Russell, not Julie Klausner herself. I got a few sentences in and just couldn't reconcile her voice with the story when I was expecting Julie's. Please change the info on this audiobook to have the correct narrator listed.
Haven't read the print edition. The narrator did a fantastic job though.
Many of the plotlines ended predictably, and were kind of too good to be true. The plotline with the sister seemed a little convoluted and the revelations seemed a little forced. I loved Lulu's plotline but the culmination also seemed a little unbelievable. There was so much potential in this story but I felt like it veered off in really strange ways a lot.
Reichl is always at her best when describing food so any scene containing that was great (though once she had the characters boasting about how much they know about food it got kind of tiresome). The "Sal Test" was fun, and the whole section with the library and Lulu's letters were great. Interesting to learn about the treatment of Italians during the war.
Loved the character of Sammy. Surprisingly, I didn't find him over the top. I think that sort of affectation in an older gay man in NYC is totally on point and believable. Sal was good too, and Lulu. Billie got a little insufferable, her motives and reactions were often hard to understand. I wanted to like Mr. Complainer but once we got to see more of him he just came off like a snob. I know people like him in real life and I can't stand being around them. I love food and appreciate quality but he just seemed like the kind of person who wouldn't shut up about it. Billie's makeover was also eye-roll worthy. Seriously, is this a highschool movie? The heroine we're told over and over is plain and unattractive gets contacts, a haircut and some nice clothes and all of a sudden she's gorgeous? Come on. That is the laziest kind of character development.
A lot of the characters were just kind of hard to understand. Their reactions seemed either over the top, or not enough. A lot of things just were kind of dropped, and other things seemed rammed home to the point of disbelief (Sal's refusal to ever leave his store, Maggie's grudge-holding and meanness, etc).
Also, too much judginess about food and "the old ways were better" type of thing. I did enjoy this book, but I found my eyes rolling A LOT.
I expected better from Ruth, whose memoirs I ADORE, but I guess her strength isn't fiction.
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