Comfort Food – Kate Jacobs

Title: Comfort Food
Author: Kate Jacobs
ISBN: 9780425226209
Pages: 384
Release Date: April 7, 2009
Publisher: Berkeley Trade
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5

From the back cover:

Shortly before turning 50, TV cooking show personality Augusta “Gus” Simpson discovers that the network wants to boost her ratings by teaming her with a beautiful, young new co-host. But Gus isn’t going without a fight—whether it’s off-set with her two demanding daughters, on-camera with the ambitious new diva herself, or after-hours with Oliver, the new culinary producer who’s raising Gus’s temperature beyond the comfort zone. Now, in pursuit of higher ratings and culinary delights, Gus might be able to rejuvenate more than just her career.

I’ve become familiar with Kate Jacobs through The Friday Night Knitting Club and its sequel, Knit Two [review]. But I hadn’t gotten around to Comfort Food, the book Jacobs wrote in between, because I’d heard that it simply wasn’t as good. Now I wish I hadn’t let that information stop me because I honestly think Comfort Food might have been better than Jacobs’ other novels.

Like the FNKC series, Comfort Food is about the lives of different people that are connected somehow. There were some differences though. By the title, people would assume that the characters in the novel came together over their love of food, which isn’t the case. Only a few of the characters are actually cooks/chefs; Gus’ daughters couldn’t really care less about food and are sometimes exasperated by their mother’s fame. Gus’ best friend Hannah only eats candy bars and has a secret that keeps her living a hermit lifestyle. And the executives running Gus’ show and making changes behind her back don’t seem to know the first thing about cooking!

What brought these characters together then? Well, a love for Gus, for many of them, and also a desire to do what is necessary in order to move forward in life and succeed. I liked the way that adversity brought them together rather than choice; it added a whole new dimension to the book and also gave a lot of opportunity for character development. In their own way, each character in Comfort Food was pushed outside his or her comfort zone and made to cope with their new circumstances.

The ending of Comfort Food is sappy and tied together a little too neatly. The inevitable personality turnaround of one of the main characters seemed a little hurried, but overall it was a very satisfying ending.

I really enjoyed Comfort Food; it surprised me in a lot of ways, not the least of which was how much it sucked me in. I definitely recommend it to any fans of women’s fiction; this is a fun read that will just make you want more!

A big thank you to Melissa at Penguin Books for sending me this book to review!

Comments

  1. I enjoyed this one too! I think the cover on the PB is much cuter though — all that pretty icing!

  2. I enjoyed this one too! I think the cover on the PB is much cuter though — all that pretty icing!

  3. Mmmmm…that cover looks delicious!

  4. Mmmmm…that cover looks delicious!

  5. Since I do not knit, I have not read her other books – although I am always attracted to the covers and they seem to be a quick and light escape novel. The subject of this novel, however, is of interest to me. I am glad that you enjoyed it (despite other reviews you have read), and I will definitely put it on my list as my first Kate Jacobs novel.

  6. Since I do not knit, I have not read her other books – although I am always attracted to the covers and they seem to be a quick and light escape novel. The subject of this novel, however, is of interest to me. I am glad that you enjoyed it (despite other reviews you have read), and I will definitely put it on my list as my first Kate Jacobs novel.

  7. This sounds really good but right now I’m just wondering if i could eat the cover!

  8. This sounds really good but right now I’m just wondering if i could eat the cover!

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  11. Dang it, Swapna, I now can’t concentrate on anything but the thought of cupcakes.

  12. Dang it, Swapna, I now can’t concentrate on anything but the thought of cupcakes.

  13. Well, I’m still reeling from the ending of FNKC… but I’m willing to give Jacobs another chance! 🙂 This sounds like a fun book — I’ll definitely look for it in the future. I love Jacobs’ writing style… she really immerses you in the settings and worlds of the characters.

  14. Well, I’m still reeling from the ending of FNKC… but I’m willing to give Jacobs another chance! 🙂 This sounds like a fun book — I’ll definitely look for it in the future. I love Jacobs’ writing style… she really immerses you in the settings and worlds of the characters.

  15. The book does sound good and I want to eat all of those cupcakes on the cover.

  16. The book does sound good and I want to eat all of those cupcakes on the cover.

  17. Sounds like a good “comfort” read (grin).

  18. Sounds like a good “comfort” read (grin).

  19. I met the author last night at a book signing. She was really nice and has two other books in the works. Glad you enjoyed Comfort Food.

  20. I met the author last night at a book signing. She was really nice and has two other books in the works. Glad you enjoyed Comfort Food.

  21. I saw this on my trip to the bookstore last night and wasn’t sure when it was written…before or after FNKC. I see now this was the “in between” book.

    It looks like you ejoyed it except for that ending. I hate when a good book ends so sappily.

  22. I saw this on my trip to the bookstore last night and wasn’t sure when it was written…before or after FNKC. I see now this was the “in between” book.

    It looks like you ejoyed it except for that ending. I hate when a good book ends so sappily.

  23. I was passing by to let you know you have an award waiting, please pick it up here ..

    http://desertrosebooklogue.blogspot.com/2009/04/premio-dardos-award.html

  24. I was passing by to let you know you have an award waiting, please pick it up here ..

    http://desertrosebooklogue.blogspot.com/2009/04/premio-dardos-award.html

  25. I really liked Comfort Food too although the knitting ones are still my favorite. This was a turn in a different direction for Jacobs and I thought it was great. I really enjoyed the character of Gus-she was funny and gutsy. I would have liked the ending a little more elaborated on too but still, I was satisfied with it.

  26. I really liked Comfort Food too although the knitting ones are still my favorite. This was a turn in a different direction for Jacobs and I thought it was great. I really enjoyed the character of Gus-she was funny and gutsy. I would have liked the ending a little more elaborated on too but still, I was satisfied with it.

  27. I haven’t read anything by this author yet but soon, I will! BTW, I love the cover!

  28. I haven’t read anything by this author yet but soon, I will! BTW, I love the cover!

  29. I finished Comfort Food last night. I loved it, just has much as FNKC and Knit Two. I was glad for the happy ending, it took me weeks to get over FNKC 🙂

  30. I finished Comfort Food last night. I loved it, just has much as FNKC and Knit Two. I was glad for the happy ending, it took me weeks to get over FNKC 🙂

  31. hmmm..the one i read had different cover art…but i enjoyed it anyway! (i’m a sucker for cupcakes…) sometimes it pays to ignore what the crowds are saying. good review!!

  32. hmmm..the one i read had different cover art…but i enjoyed it anyway! (i’m a sucker for cupcakes…) sometimes it pays to ignore what the crowds are saying. good review!!

  33. I love books that have a food component. I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks for the review!

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  34. I love books that have a food component. I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks for the review!

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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