Title: Angelina’s Bachelors: A Novel of Food
Author: Brian O’Reilly
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Angelina is happy with her life. Her husband, Frank, is a good man, and though they haven’t yet been able to have children, Angelina still has hope. But when Frank dies unexpectedly and Angelina loses her job, she has more to cope with than she can handle. She turns to cooking for solace, and through food, she finds new friends and a new way to live.
The subtitle of Angelina’s Bachelors really is very accurate – it is a novel of food. Each page holds mouthwatering descriptions of Angelina’s newest efforts in the kitchen, along with recipes so the reader can cook alongside her. O’Reilly highlights the healing power of food – how it can bring people together and is good for the soul. When Angelina has nowhere else to turn, she looks to cooking as a therapy to help her through her grief. Food helps to fill that hole in her, but also brings other people into Angelina’s life to soothe the hurts that food can’t reach.
Angelina’s an interesting main character. She seems very real as she works through her anger and frustration at the course her life has taken. She can be temperamental at times, but that only adds to the sense that she is a real person, rather than a character in a book. It’s easy to sympathize with Angelina after all the hurts that have taken their toll on her.
I enjoyed the premise of Angelina’s Bachelors, though the story fizzled for me towards the end. I felt like there were a few too many storylines, and the book got too far away from Angelina and her emotional recovery. Additionally, I felt that some of the twists and turns towards the end were a little too unrealistic in their optimism, though because I did like Angelina, I welcomed her good fortune.
If you can enjoy this book for what it is – an emotional journey that is undertaken through the vehicle of food – you will enjoy it. It’s a quick, light read that will leave you eager to paw through your pantry in order to see what delicious concoctions you can whip up while reading!