When Jennifer sent me the first set of books available for my first review here on 5M4B, she warned me to be careful what I choose. She said, “if you really think you’ll like it, then take it, but if you’re not sure, then be discriminating.” As soon as I read the description of Jenny Nelson’s first novel, Georgia’s Kitchen, I knew it was a great first choice.
Georgia Grey has it all – she’s a renowned chef at a top NYC restaurant, engaged to a handsome lawyer and has dreams of opening her own restaurant. After an influential restaurant critic publishes a scathing review and her fiancé dumps her, she escapes to Tuscany to work for her former mentor, lick her wounds and put her life back together. Upon returning to New York she discovers the review and her un-engagement may be the best things that could have happened, forcing her to move forward with the plans to start her restaurant and find love again.
This is Nelson’s first book and a good effort. A bit adjective heavy at times – why use one word when three will do – and Georgia’s tendency to shorten her friends’ names to their first letter grates, but the story flows easily and the characters are likable. You’ll root for Georgia to succeed in both food and love. The descriptions of the food she cooks will have you drooling, and you’ll want to jump on the next plane to Italy to take in beautiful Tuscany.
This is a great summer read and I look forward to reading future efforts by Nelson, including a potential sequel to Georgia’s Kitchen. The ending was left open enough that the story could easily continue, something Nelson confirms in the conversation included at the back of the book.
Nancy isn’t much of a cook but loves to eat, and laments the dearth of good Italian restaurants – and pizza – in northern Colorado. She writes about other things she misses from back east at Life With My Boys.