My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
“Sometimes a good book waits for the good time to be discovered”
That is a quote I found at the back of the book, which I totally agree with.
No one would really read this title “The Lost Recipe for Happiness” and think that’s not cheesy chick-lit like so many other. I did. Frankly, my chick-lit meter is set so low that I thought this is no better than Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number. But man was I wrong?
Reading the blurb, every cliche plot will come crashing through to your mind. But as soon as you start reading, you’ll be happy you did that. Here are the basics: Elena Alvarez is a well-establish and successful chef. After facing trouble in her current job, she gets the chance to run her own restaurant (and who would say no to that). Her boss, Julian Liswood, a film director and a single father, is the one who hire her to run his newly-purchased Aspen restaurant. when she arrives there, she meets Ivan Santino, who was the executive chef before her. The first moment we see Ivan, he was cooking drunk. He is also arrogant, but all of that is also a result of internal suffering. Later, Elena and Ivan realize they’re more alike. This move doesn’t only benefit the restaurant, it also has an effect on everyone’s life, especially Elena and Julian’s.
This book was a huge surprise. I was amazed at the depth of the characters. How real their suffering is, it’s like you’re inside their heads. The pace of the book was also very comfortable, each revelation was at its right time. It’s engaging and interesting to read about these very complicated people and how they face their pains and realities and maybe opening up to new possibilities. O’Neal has a real grip on her characters and story.
I took out a half star mainly because it was kinda putdownable. It lacked that i-dont-want-let-it-go feel. At least for me that is worth something. But I highly recommend it.