Book Review: The Love Goddess’ Cooking School – Melissa Senate

Title: The Love Goddess’ Cooking School
Author: Melissa Senate
ISBN: 9781439107232
Pages: 352
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Publisher: Gallery
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Holly is just about ready to give up on her search for love.  After her boyfriend of two years breaks up with her for no reason, she flees to the small island near Portland, Maine where her grandmother lives.  Holly’s nonna is a cooking legend on the island, and she hosts cooking classes for locals.  But when she dies unexpectedly, Holly is forced to learn to stand on her own two feet.  Though she knows nothing about cooking, she decides to take over her grandmother’s business and teach the cooking classes on her own.

Review:

I’ve been a fan of Melissa Senate’s for a very long time – her books have always been fun and enjoyable.  Books such as Questions to Ask Before Marrying were solid chick lit novels, but they weren’t books that really lingered in my mind.  That is, until her last book, The Secret of Joy.  I’m not going to rehash that review here, but I will say that Senate really elevated herself with that book.  Her writing and ability to tell an engaging story rose to a new level.  I’m happy to say that The Love Goddess’ Cooking School only confirms Senate’s talent at writing women’s fiction – she’s become a must-read author in my book.

Holly is an endearing character who is easy to relate to.  She’s completely lost at the beginning of the book.  It’s easy to wonder how she thinks she can take over her grandmother’s cooking duties when she has so little cooking experience, but Holly is determined.  It might not be the smartest idea, but Holly feels that, in her heart, it’s the right thing to do.

And that’s what this book is really about, the heart at the center of everything.  Each of Holly’s nonna’s recipes contain an emotional ingredient:  a wish, a sad thought, a happy memory.  Senate presents the idea that in every delicious meal are the emotions of the cook.  The way to make truly wonderful food is to pour yourself into it.  It’s only when Holly begins to trust her abilities and put parts of herself into what she cooks that she is satisfied with the result.

The secondary characters in The Love Goddess’ Cooking School were also very well written.  Mia is sweet and incredibly smart for a girl her age.  I loved how she related all the adults’ problems to those facing her friends at school.  Even though it’s amusing, she usually has a nugget of wisdom in her words, sometimes without realizing it.  All the characters were sympathetic and it was wonderful to watch them develop and see how Holly’s cooking class changed each of them.

The Love Goddess’ Cooking School was a charming, sweet novel about love, trust, and the art of cooking.  The food descriptions are mouthwatering, the story is engaging, and the characters are wonderful.  For fans of women fiction, this is a novel that’s not to be missed.

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Comments

  1. You always make these novels seem so appealing. And the with the cooking element thrown in, I’m so tempted…

  2. You always make these novels seem so appealing. And the with the cooking element thrown in, I’m so tempted…

  3. I was sold as soon as I saw the great book cover, but now I really want to read this book after checking out your review. Thanks!!

  4. I was sold as soon as I saw the great book cover, but now I really want to read this book after checking out your review. Thanks!!

  5. This book reminds me a lot of The School of Essential Ingredients, but I imagine they are very different. This is just the type of book that appeals to me, so I am going to be checking it out. I am glad to hear that it was such a satisfying read for you. Great review!

  6. This book reminds me a lot of The School of Essential Ingredients, but I imagine they are very different. This is just the type of book that appeals to me, so I am going to be checking it out. I am glad to hear that it was such a satisfying read for you. Great review!

  7. I haven’t read Melissa Senate before, but I do have this book and I am glad that you enjoyed it so much. Can’t wait to start reading. Love me some food.

  8. I haven’t read Melissa Senate before, but I do have this book and I am glad that you enjoyed it so much. Can’t wait to start reading. Love me some food.

  9. Thank you SO much for this wonderful review. Your blog is always my first stop in the morning to see what book you’ve read and how you felt about it (we have such similar taste!), and to find this thoughtful, incredible review here this morning made my entire day. Thanks!!

  10. Thank you SO much for this wonderful review. Your blog is always my first stop in the morning to see what book you’ve read and how you felt about it (we have such similar taste!), and to find this thoughtful, incredible review here this morning made my entire day. Thanks!!

  11. The cooking element in there makes this book look very attractive to me.

  12. The cooking element in there makes this book look very attractive to me.

  13. I love Melissa Senate, too — she’s such a fun, creative writer! I’ve loved several of her novels and rely on her for solid women’s fiction. Glad to hear her latest is a winner — I have it in my TBR stack! Can’t wait to read it.

  14. I love Melissa Senate, too — she’s such a fun, creative writer! I’ve loved several of her novels and rely on her for solid women’s fiction. Glad to hear her latest is a winner — I have it in my TBR stack! Can’t wait to read it.

  15. I’m not usually a huge fan of chick lit, but as I spend a decent chunk of time reading cookbooks, this might be my type of story.

  16. I’m not usually a huge fan of chick lit, but as I spend a decent chunk of time reading cookbooks, this might be my type of story.

  17. These are seriously my favorite kind of women fiction – the one’s with a cooking element!

  18. These are seriously my favorite kind of women fiction – the one’s with a cooking element!

  19. Wasn’t it good! I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read The Secret of Joy (it has been on my wish list since it was published).

  20. Wasn’t it good! I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to read The Secret of Joy (it has been on my wish list since it was published).

  21. Holly sounds like a plucky and endearing character but I will read this book just to see how a non-cook takes over a cooking school. Should be fun.

  22. Holly sounds like a plucky and endearing character but I will read this book just to see how a non-cook takes over a cooking school. Should be fun.

  23. This one is on my ‘to read’ list. I’m happy to see a lot people enjoyed it.

  24. This one is on my ‘to read’ list. I’m happy to see a lot people enjoyed it.

  25. Not a big fan of chick lit, but I love the cover and you make this sound very appealing…

  26. Not a big fan of chick lit, but I love the cover and you make this sound very appealing…

  27. Thanks for the review! My sister is a chef, so I am always looking for book ideas for her. I think she would like this one.

    Rose City Reader

  28. Thanks for the review! My sister is a chef, so I am always looking for book ideas for her. I think she would like this one.

    Rose City Reader

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