The Kitchen – Laura Carter

I must admit to having the utmost admiration for anyone working in a kitchen with split shifts for starters, together with unexpected menus changes, varying tempers and unbearable heat. I have never worked in a kitchen myself, so I don’t know how true the depictions we see on TV actually are, but a I know for sure that I would not react well to being constantly berated and shouted at! This is no doubt why I had immediate empathy for the characters in the book. I was also attracted to it, because I seem to spend a lot of time in the kitchen – at my choice! Finally, I loved the idea of the author taking inspiration from people around her, whilst they are totally oblivious to her intentions!

I felt sad for Maggie – that she was benefitting from the untimely demise of her boss and friend. She was bound to be hurting, not helped by the attitude of Emily, her late boss’s Daughter, or the arrival at her first service in temporary charge, of her nemesis, Ethan James, who seemed to be universally renowned as a bit of a dick basically! One definitely got the impression of vulture surveying their prey. A circling group of vultures is called a kettle, which seemed somewhat appropriate for a kitchen, although not half as appropriate as the name for a group of vultures feeding on the ground – a wake of vultures. Need I say more!

Nayomi was a great character and I truly respected the way that she had Maggie’s back from the very beginning, no doubt at least partly due to the way that Maggie was immediately kind and empathetic towards her at interview, unlike her boss Alexander, who had been seriously dismissive. I was humbled by the joy that Nayomi and her family got from the leftovers that she brought home form the restaurant, that would otherwise have been thrown away and I enjoyed the descriptions of the food and its unique smells; it made my mouth water! All the staff at the restaurant seemed pretty special people, but Charles the Sommelier stood out with his grandfatherly attitude.

I did question Emily’s professionalism with her damning review of Maggie’s work; it seemed distinctly personal.

There is intrigue in this book – apparent from the very beginning, Why did Emily fall out with her Father? It seems that Maggie and Emily have irreparably fallen out at some point too – were the incidents connected? Why does Emily stay with Oliver, when all they do is argue? Can Maggie work under Ethan? Can Emily and Maggie ever be reconciled? Can Maggie and Nayomi work together to prove Emily wrong? Will Emily’s lies come to the fore? Will the good guys triumph over the ill thought out wrongs of one person?

You will have to read this charming, poignant novel for yourself, to find out the answers.

To purchase this book for yourself:


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