October 28, 2009 at 10:48 am , by Arpita Joshi
The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel is about two childhood best friends, Lilly and Val, who throughout their lives share letters and e-mails with each other, as well as recipes. Food plays an integral part in their relationship — their “recipe club” is made up of recipes that represent sentimental moments of both of their lives, good and bad. I thought the book had a really interesting concept and it even made me wish I had my own foodie pen-pal to trade recipes with.
The recipes appropriately correspond with the time in either girls’ life – when they are younger they share recipes like “Friday Night Fish Sticks” and “ First-Kiss Caramel Almond Kisses,” and as they mature, share things like “Forgiveness Tapenade” and “Good Karma Veggie Samosas.” Lilly and Val are similar yet different in so many ways, and their friendship is one deeply rooted in love but finds some really challenging obstacles as they get older and their personalities don’t mesh as much, and they don’t seem to agree on anything anymore.
I don’t want to give anything away, but the best part about this novel is that it is a cookbook at the same time it is an engaging and intense story about their relationship with each other and with food — you’ll laugh with them through their awkward high school moments and cry with them as they betray each other throughout the story — and at the end when they find something out that will change their relationship forever. And all the while, you’ll find yourself hungry and wanting to run to the kitchen to try out all their favorite recipes — get a copy of The Recipe Club for yourself and for your best girlfriend on Amazon.