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review 2014-07-30 00:00
The Glass Kitchen
The Glass Kitchen - Linda Francis Lee The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee
Wanted to read this book for a few reasons, storyline sounded strong and something that interests me and that it's about one who cooks and bakes.
Like how this story starts out and the magic of the knowing. Fast paced til Portia gets to NYC where she moves into her apartment left from an aunt. Her sisters had sold their apartments.
She is now divorced and has not much money left and her sisters approach her with an idea that really does not appeal to her. I am so glad she brought the glass kitchen cookbook from her grandmother with her.
Love her ideas and the food selections from the customers ailments that she is able to cure with ingredients that are healthy.
She is able to not only help the children of Gabriel but she stands up for herself with help from others, vs. her ex husband and his dealings. Misunderstandings draw them all apart from one another and secrets, hidden well, will bring them back together.
I received this book from ReadingGroupGuides.com in exchange for my honest review.
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review 2014-06-27 00:00
The Glass Kitchen
The Glass Kitchen - Linda Francis Lee Portia Cuthcart has spent years suppressing her cooking magic and trying to be the perfect politicians wife. Even after her husband’s betrayal and an acrimonious divorce, Portia is afraid to let magic have too much control over her life. However, her sisters are facing difficulties of their own and want Portia’s help reviving their grandmother’s restaurant. Portia has an even harder time saying no to her attractive neighbor and his children, all of whom are still coming to terms with losing their wife/mother. Portia wants to take a chance on magic again but she’s not certain that even a cooking a good meal can solve all of her problems.

I picked up The Glass Kitchen immediately after finishing the beautiful but heartbreaking The End of Your Life Book Club and it was exactly the heartwarming read I was hoping for. I loved the idea of cooking magic, with Portia drawing on the power of food to make people feel certain emotions to give people exactly what they need. I also loved the way Portia often compared things or people to food. Since we all have experience with food, I thought it was a good way to create descriptions people could relate to. It also added to the cozy feel of the book.

Portia’s personality in general was one of my favorite parts of the book. She’s compassionate and caring, but quirky and stubborn too. I was less fond of the love interest, her stubborn, possessive, over-protective neighbor. Even though Portia was able to stand up to his powerful personality, even though he had to learn to compromise and admit he was wrong, I finished the book still not sure how I felt about him. I wasn’t completely convinced their relationship wasn’t mostly based on sexual attraction and I wanted more than that for Portia. On the other hand, I loved everything about her relationship with the neighbor’s daughters. Portia’s interaction with them helped differentiate this story from all the other fluffy, you-know-they’ll-end-up-together books out there. This still wasn’t my favorite ever book of that variety, but was a very sweet story and one I’d particularly recommend to foodies looking for a happy, cozy read.

This review first published on Doing Dewey.
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url 2014-06-22 04:08
Magically Romantic Reads For A Short Solstice Night
The Glass Kitchen - Linda Francis Lee
Lost Lake - Sarah Addison Allen
Cure for the Common Breakup - Beth Kendrick
Valour and Vanity - Mary Robinette Kowal

Just in case your TBR pile is not enough, here are some suggestions for this night! :)

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review 2014-05-15 02:34
The Glass Kitchen
The Glass Kitchen - Linda Francis Lee

Title:  The Glass Kitchen
Author: Linda Francis Lee
Publisher:  St Martin's Press
Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean
Age Recommended: Adult
Rating: 4.5

"The Glass Kitchen" by Linda Francis Lee was a interesting contemporary romantic read that did have some fantasy interwoven  into it.   I found the read and interesting way his author presented this romance.  It was indeed a interesting read surrounding Portia who after managing through a  horrible marriage and the death of her grandmother Portia will move to NYC broken hearted with two suitcases  along with her grandmother's 'Glass Kitchen Cookbooks and the 'gift' that she no longer wanted.  It was at this point I found somewhat strange but continued on with the read.  Well,after reading a little further I was able to understand the thought pattern of his author and it was a good one and I liked it.  'The Knowing' wow, what was that?  Even though Portia has stopped listening to 'The Knowing' which was  the urges to create recipes (dishes) that would tell  her that something will happen...be it good or bad...however, she would never know until it happened.  I enjoyed how this was presented by the author. Those consequences Portia now wanted nothing to do with especially after what had happened to her grandmother. This I could very well understand from the read.  Then life moves on and  takes her to NY where we find Portia wanting to get on with her life in her new place where she thought she would be living with her sisters but to find out....the author goes another direction and presents us with new people... Gabriel Kane and his daughters.  I like how this author tune the reader into  one of the daughter's Ariel as well as Gabriel, who had a few secrets of his own.  I think this really helped  Portia come out of her funk as she will help so much with that situation with Gabriel's daughter... making a connection relationship  with this family.  Also, I can see it...the urging for Portia to get back into the kitchen again even though she still remembers what had happened to her earlier...wow...I liked this part best of the story.  I don't want to tell to much so to spoil the story.  I  will say I thought this author did do a good job with this  well written  story and how is deepens with some secrets being  revealed and surprises that did come out that will keep you truly zoomed into  turning  the pages until the end.  I would definitely see how this one would be a very interesting to the  Women's Fiction or Chick Lit readers.   Oh, and at  if you are into recipes check be sure to  out  the end of this novel  for some wonderful recipes that I  tried (a few) and did love them!

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review 2014-05-10 18:17
The Glass Kitchen - Linda Francis Lee
The Glass Kitchen - Linda Francis Lee

I’m Mrs. Take-away. I don’t see the point in cooking and I honestly think that modern day’s obsession with cooking and food is absurd and freaky.

However, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m also the girl that picks books purely on their cover and thus I ended up reading the book The Glass Kitchen (really Emma, you missed the word Kitchen in the title?) by Linda Francis Lee. I requested this book via Netgalley, because I loved the cover so much.

The Glass Kitchen is the story of Portia and Ariel – a story that intertwines at several points during the plot.

Portia is a newly divorced Texan woman who moves to New York City to find herself again. She lives in the townhouse her great aunt used to own – she lives on the garden floor while her sisters, Olivia and Cordelia, used to own the other two floors. However, the sisters sold their part of the house, so Portia unwantedly becomes a neighbor of Gabriel, a handsome, but very cold, businessman.

Gabriel is a widower with two daughters – Ariel and Miranda. The story of the family focuses on 12-year-old Ariel, who is struggling with the move to New York (the family used to live in New Jersey) and the teenage escapades of her sister (who is 16). And mostly with the fact that she was in the car crash that killed her mother.

As if that’s not enough plot, there’s an interesting twist to the story. Portia has “the knowing”, which is a family trait that allows her to see the food people will need before they actually need it. For example, Miranda runs into the house needing 20 cupcakes for a bake sale and Portia already made them, though she didn’t know why. Olivia’s grandmother used to have the trait, which is why her restaurant The Glass Kitchen in Texas was so successful. Imagine walking into a place and them always having the food you love? As a Mrs Take-away – I’ll sign up for that.

That’s where the story starts and slowly the characters develop and have to figure out how to survive, both financially and emotionally after the traumatic event of an unexpected divorce or the death of a mother, in the case of Ariel.

What I liked about this book is that Portia is not your typical Texan narrator – yes, she likes to cook and yes she wears sparkly clothes every now and then, but she’s feisty and actually doesn’t want to hook up with her neighbor for a very long time. Same goes for Ariel, who is not the typical 12 year old narrator. She’s smarter than most girls her age, which saves the book from not falling in between the young adult and adult category – it’s definitely adult, even when Ariel narrates. “The knowing” brings in an original element to the book, which differentiates it from most chick lit like books. It also causes for quite a few surprising turns and twists in the book, which is always a plus in my eyes.

What bothered me about this book is the development of Miranda. Miranda is 16, the older sister of Ariel, and is very clearly struggling with the death of her mother. However, the author portrays her as an annoying brat who is acting out in every way possible. But WHY? Nobody knows and at times, I even wondered if the author really knows why Miranda is acting the way she does.

She hangs out with bad friends, smokes weed and throws parties even though she’s not allowed to do that. As a reader, we hear repeatedly how good she was back in New Jersey and how the move made her upset. Really? The move? I think the death of the mother could have come back in here and I really missed this part of the story.

Besides that though, it is a good read. I feel like the lack of Miranda character development really left a gaping hole in the plot, but for any cooking lovers, this will be a fun and enjoyable read. And even if you don’t enjoy cooking, like me, you can still enjoy this book and maybe even get motivated to do some cooking of your own – with the recipes in the back of the book!

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