The Glass Kitchen: a novel of sisters by Linda Francis Lee

It might be the chill in the air, or the fact that winter is right around the corner, but lately I seem to be drawn to books about food. The storyline in The Glass Kitchen: a novel of sisters by Linda Francis Lee revolves around food, but is also the story of a young woman plucked from her childhood home in Texas and dropped into the bustling world of Manhattan. Struggling to make a new life for herself, with the help of her sisters, Portia Cuthcart uses her kitchen as a refuge which allows her to forgive, forget, and open herself up to her unique gift of magical food.

By magical food, I mean Portia has a gift called "knowing" and food is the source of her gift. An unexplainable trait handed down from her grandmother, Portia dreams of elaborate meals and knows she must make them – before ever knowing why. Her grandmother taught Portia to cook fabulous meals in the family's Texas cafe, The Glass Kitchen. Portia marries the man of her dreams and her life seems perfect, until one day it all comes tumbling down. You see, sometimes the knowing predicts bad things - like her grandmother's death and her husband's betrayal. Grief stricken and reeling from her divorce, Portia packs her bags, closes her grandmother's cafe and flees to Manhattan to be with her two older sisters, Cordelia and Olivia, and vows to never cook again. Each sister was left an apartment in a run-down building near Central Park by their great aunt and Portia flees to her own garden apartment hideaway. She pushes her gift aside and wants to be nothing more than just a normal person. When she discovers that her sisters have both sold their apartments, she becomes involved in the lives of her new neighbors, the Kane family, consisting of precocious twelve year-old Ariel, moody teen Miranda and their widowed father Gabriel. Meeting Gabriel for the first time causes Portia's gift to overwhelm her and she begins to cook again. As she gets to know the Kane family she juggles the pursuit of her dreams with her desire to bring a broken family back together and falls in love in the process.

There are so many elements that make this story great, especially the role of family. Portia and her sisters have an interesting relationship. They have sisterly love but they are so different from each other. Gabriel may be successful, but he is having his own family issues with his two teenage daughters, an overbearing mother, and a worthless brother. Everything blends together in a wonderful story of food with a little touch of magic. If you like Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen you might want to give this one a try.



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