It’s hard to believe that it is mid January already and we are half way through our first book of 2013.
I find that my mood and possibly the time of year dictates what I actually read (and if indeed I actually finish it). In the past few weeks I have started and abandoned The Hobbit by Tolkien, Cleaving by Julie Powell and Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan. One I enjoyed but got side tracked by something else resulting in it being left for another day, another exasperated me to the point of despair and the other I just didn’t gel with.
But there have been other books that I have picked up and devoured. Casino Royal by Ian Fleming for one – I loved its fast pace and its style difference from many of the other books I normally read and My Secret Garden by Alan Titchmarsh – the photography in it is just beautiful. There is another book that I received for Christmas, read half of, then stopped, put it down and placed it back on the shelf. It is not because I didn’t like it or got distracted by something else. No, it is because I was enjoying it so much that I want to nominate it for February in the hope that we may read it as a group. I am not going to tell you what it is, nor give you an inkling of what it is about. You will have to wait until nominations for that.
What else have you been reading? we would love to know! – Natalie.
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These chapters have brought us no less excitement, provocation and, of course, delicious food than the previous. The conversation has really heated up and has brought frustration with Sarah, exasperation at Escoffier and the hope of a blossoming relationship between Sabine and Bobo. And, the introduction of Rosa, a formidable cook, student of Escoffier and wearer of trademark black boots.
I am finding myself more and more frustrated with Sarah (and Escoffier) as the book progresses. We find her heartbroken at the death of her unfaithful husband from a narcotics overdose, jealous at Escoffier’s relationship with his student Rosa and indifferent to the news of the return of Delphine (now pregnant) and Escoffier’s children. She is self absorbed, no stranger to adultery herself and lives her life as one continuous play rehearsal. The attempt on her own life towards the end of chapter 20 forces me to think; was it an attempt or just another theatrical production?
After Sarah’s suicide bid, Escoffier once again lets his wife and family down by leaving them standing at the station after they had travelled to be with him. Cries of “get yourself off the floor Escoffier” and “go and be with your family” echoed around Twitter. I think that we are all feeling the frustration with the hold these women have over the Chef and how his obsession with them and his food are pushing those who should be in the forefront of his thoughts away. It has been said that he adored Delphine. I, personally am not seeing it.
Last week on BBC4, chef Michel Roux jnr. presented a programme on Escoffier. It is a great insight into how he revolutionised eating out and how is deceptions became his downfall. If you have been following the book with us there are many parts of the programme and landmarks featured that you will recognise. It is available to watch on BBC iPlayer until 23 November.
This week we will be putting up the book nominations received for December. To make sure the book you want to read is chosen then vote for it in our poll and encourage friends and family to do the same.
I know what I will be voting for. Have a great final week everyone – Natalie.
Next week: November 22nd-30th: Discuss Chapters 25-31