The Lost Art of Mixing

by Jennifer


I’ve read all of Erica Bauermeister’s novels and have enjoyed them all.  They are all short, quiet, thought-provoking reads. They are of the “character-driven” genre, so if you find yourself losing interest in books because “nothing happens,” then her books aren’t for you.

However, as a lover of character-driven fiction, I disagree with that assessment — though I know enough about books and readers to know when a book isn’t a good fit. To me, a LOT happens in these types of novels: people find out something about themselves or another person, or navigate into a new stage of life, or overcome an obstacle, or succumb to a bad decision.

In The Lost Art of Mixing, we learn more about the characters featured in The School of Essential Ingredients (linked to my review). I’d call it a parallel novel more than a sequel, because I read that first book a while ago and didn’t feel in the slightest bit lost. You can read them in any order, but if you liked one, definitely read the other.

This novel felt slightly darker than some of her others, dealing with deep issues such as a loveless disconnected marriage, the difficulties of moving on after the death of a beloved spouse, moving beyond deep childhood hurts, etc. But I wouldn’t call it depressing, because the overall message of the novel (and The School of Essential Ingredients) is that people need people.

Lillian, the chef-owner of a restaurant and cooking school/club, is the central character, surrounded by her young sous chef Lillian, a new quiet dishwasher, Finnegan, boring accountant Al who comes to life with the flavors of Lillian’s food, and elderly Isabelle, who is trying to put the good and bad of her life into perspective. The relationships between this unlikely group are sweet and ones to be savored (bad food puns completely intended).

I highly recommend this book, if you at all like this sort of story, and am happy to be able to offer a giveaway copy to one of you (U.S. only). Leave a comment on this post if you’d like to win. You can get an extra entry by leaving a comment on Erica Bauermeister’s guest post about autographed books (from her perspective as a reader and a writer, and even the way this topic worked its way into this novel).


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Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer

Jennifer lives in Houston with her family. In addition to reading, she enjoys travel, Bible study, food, and fun. She blogs about some of these things -- when her nose isn't in a book -- at Snapshot.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacie Gorkow January 26, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I loved Joy for Beginners and want to read this one too.
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2 Sherrie January 26, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Would love to check this out!


3 Liz January 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

New-to-me author. Thanks for intro and giveaway.


4 Christie Jensen January 27, 2013 at 12:14 am

Just finished reading Joy for Beginners and loved it. I have this book on hold at the library.


5 pearl January 27, 2013 at 11:59 am

This book sounds unique and wonderful.


6 Carolyn January 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I would like to read this – I’ve read other positive reviews of this, too.


7 ellie January 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Love to read this novel. This author has written lovely books which I enjoyed.


8 Tammy Gordon January 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Sounds like a good book!


9 diane January 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I would enjoy this book very much.


10 Amy January 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I saw the other book you mention at the library the other day and almost picked it up. I’d like to read this one!
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11 Angela E. January 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm

This book sounds so good.


12 Anita Yancey January 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Sounds like a book I would be interested in reading. Thanks for this chance to win it.


13 Annette {This Simple Mom} January 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I would like to hear part 2 of the story! Thanks!
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14 June January 31, 2013 at 11:24 am

Sounds like another great read.


15 Don February 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

My wife would like to read this one.


16 Lori D. February 6, 2013 at 10:59 am

What a great book for me to read.


17 Van February 6, 2013 at 11:10 am

This is the kind of book my girlfriend would read.


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