Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan Stradal

Why didn’t I read this when it came out?? Was it too popular to get a copy? Did I somehow think “I’ll get to it later” and then forget about it?” Honestly, I didn’t even know what it was about except it has an appealing to me title and that food is in it. Then Melissa read it last week and loved it and there it was on the shelf at the library so I had immediate gratification-starting it on Saturday, yesterday was Easter, and today I still have off so I finished it up this morning, feeling very indulgent. I loved this. It hits many notes that I especially enjoy in books. There’s the food, of course. A few recipes included, and many descriptions of food. Also many descriptions of characters who are a lot of fun to intensely dislike, including pretentious foodies. But what I especially liked  was the format of this story: Eva is a baby born to a man with an intense love of and appreciation for food. The novel is about Eva, but it’s never told from her point of view. Instead, each section of her life is told through the eyes of some other character who may be close to Eva or tangentially related to her. So there is a lot of enjoying seeing how people are connected and each section is also has a bit of an epilogue feel to it as you say goodbye to the previous story/characters.

I couldn’t wait to see how things would turn out and also get to each new section. Like many good entertainments it left me wanting a little bit more each time.

Oh, I also loved the Lutheran women and hot dish and lutefisk.

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2 thoughts on “Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan Stradal

  1. I was just telling someone about this book! I like the “bars.” Sooooooo Midwest! What I really loved, though, is how Eva ends up spending her life, and how there’s some (but not complete or unnrealistic) closure to certain relationships.

    • Hi Amy! It’s nice to see you here again! I’ve been trying to really keep up with my books lately. I am totally going to make the peanut bars-I copied the recipe. It really was neat to see all the different relationships and how they play out, isn’t it?

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