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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir comes an unforgettable novel of a BBC-sponsored wartime cooking competition and the four women who enter for a chance to better their lives.

Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses: The Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is holding a cooking contest - and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the competition would present a crucial chance to change their lives.

For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For a lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

These four women are giving the competition their all - even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together only serve to break it apart?

* This audiobook edition includes a downloadable PDF that contains recipes from the book.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2021 Jennifer Ryan (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A charming tale that will satiate a lot of different tastes: historical fiction lovers, cooking competition fans, anyone who revels in girl-power lit.... This story had me so hooked, I literally couldn’t put it down to cook.” (NPR)

“[Ryan is] a master of plotting and working in different registers.... Readers with an appetite for homefront WWII novels will find this deeply satisfying.” (Publishers Weekly

“A creative and satiating novel. Certain to delight lovers of historical fiction and TV cooking competitions.” (Kirkus)

What listeners say about The Kitchen Front

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Utterly

I really enjoyed this audible book, Jasmine Blackborow did a wonderful job narrating. There was one thing that bothered me, the use of the word utterly, it was just too much. Everything was utterly delicious or utterly sad or utterly devastating. We need to find Ms. Ryan a thesaurus. I do recommend the book and the audible in particular.

5 people found this helpful

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I did not want this book to end!!

I cant say enough good things about this book. It was such an engaging story and I found myself looking forward to listening to it. I highly recommend!!

3 people found this helpful

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Four Friends

Set in wartime this book tells an interesting story about the struggles of women cooking using rations. Competition for a radio show cooking contest led four women to a unique friendship. A bond forms out of each individual struggle that shows up during the contest.
I found it hard to choose a favorite character as each one drew me in but in the end Audrey
came out in front.

3 people found this helpful

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A feel good story

This was such a feel good story about women banding together to survive and make the best in an uncertain world. It was a delightful escape from tragic current events. As I listened, however, I couldn't help thinking about how, in today's divisive political climate in the USA where so many put personal liberty ahead of the greater good of society, that if necessary due to war, black-outs and rationing mandates would likely be disregarded and ignored by a portion of our population.

2 people found this helpful

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Something so deliciously different

The Kitchen Front is a WWII historical novel of a completely different flavor. I relished every moment. Ryan's storyline is a heartwarming and beautifully written story of WWII from the perspective of the women at home trying to survive the war as best as they could and still provide for themselves and their families. It's a sweet read about resilience, ingenuity and above all sisterhood. The narrator does an excellent job and I was entertained the whole way through. If you're looking for an enjoyable read then this ones for you.

2 people found this helpful

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As predictable as a kids' cartoon

I was excited about the idea, but the book is so cheesy and predictable and just full of tropes. I would've probably liked it in middle school, though

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting historical information and wonderful story!

I was skeptical when a friend loaned me this book to read and immediately looked for it on Audible. Hearing it read, rather than just reading it, made it possible to feel more involved with the characters and story.
Certainly it was significant— and fortunate— that England was not invaded during WW 2 but they nevertheless had bombings, food shortages, and discouragement to overcome and the characters in this book demonstrate what was undoubtedly the situation the English Home Front responded to optimistically and many times as heroically as the troops.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Still trying to figure out the five star ratings. Cutting at least a third of the irrelevant babble would help pick up the pace. The characters are stereotypes and the story is one long cliche. It didn't help that the supposedly strongest character in the book spent all her time crying!

1 person found this helpful

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loved it

touching page turner that kept your interest with characters. Predictable at times but emotionally moving.

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The best of the three!

I was lukewarm about the other 2 WWII books by this author, but I loved The Kitchen Front! The characters were very relatable and the narration is excellent. Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful