The Summer Kitchen de Karen Weinreb

de Karen Weinreb - Género: English
libro gratis The Summer Kitchen


When Nora Banks goes to answer the doorbell very early one November 1st, she thinks it must be a group of teen pranksters still out trick-or-treating. But it's no prank—it's the Feds, who have come to arrest her husband Evan for a white collar crime. Nora's enviable, privileged life in the eighteenth-century house she'd quit her job to renovate to museum-quality perfection, is upended in an instant.
The Bedford wives close ranks against Nora and her children. Nora's only support comes from her children's nanny Beatriz. The two women bond to raise the boys as smoothly as possible while Nora goes back to work. Baking has always been her biggest passion, so she launches a business of her own, the Summer Kitchen. Tempted by the offer of an affair with one of the local husbands and thwarted by an alpha wife who actively tries to shut down her business, Nora has to reach into reserves she didn't know she had to support her family and change her way of thinking about life, family,...

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Last night, I started (and stopped)reading this --- what could be the worst-written book I have ever tried to read Weinreb purports to have been a journalist, have a degree in literature from Yale, and a master's from Oxford. NO WAY!!!! The writing was so awkward - the way translated language can be, with words seeming to be out of order. I found myself re-reading passages to try to make sense of them. Here are some examples I found when thumbing through the book (some after I abandoned it):

"I booked the trip to Bermuda so that we would have the chance to talk finally alone"

"Though the laugh, the day, it exhausted her." (p.21)

"Nora had been keeping up appearances for two months since the arrest when the exhaustion of the effort and of all she was now managing alone swelled to the feeling that a blood vessel would burst if she didn't rest." (p.65)

"... her boys' faces looked adorable painted puppets, their cheeks and the tips of their noses blooded circles on complexions frozen otherwise white and stiff." (p. 99)

"la senora" appeared 10 times on one page!

If I had bought this book, I would have returned it and asked for my money back. This once immensely privileged woman must have known someone to have ever gotten her book published. And she got lots of press due to her personal story (hedge-fund husband arrested for wire fraud). GRRRR10 s Karen!259

Maybe I'm just not there yet in life. Maybe. More ly: this book just sucked.

This is your basic chick-lit: wealthy family, horses, private schools, SUVs....and then the husband goes to PRISON?!?!?!?!? And the family has to try and make it. Luckily, the protagonist could not only give Betty Crocker/Paula Dean/Martha Stewart a run for their collective money, but apparently could trounce them all single handed. She supports her family by baking, somehow keeping the hispanic maid (who we know from the third page is family, speaks English and is treated a real human being by our heroine, un the other stuck-up skinny bitches in the neighborhood).

Okay, so maybe it was silly of me to even pick up this book in the first place, but in my defense, the cover is SUPER CUTE. Who doesn't jam.

My main beef is the unrealistic characterization prevalent throughout the text. Seven year olds do not talk that. Twelve year olds do not talk that. People with maids do not talk to their maids that. I don't care where you are from. If you are that kind of person, you just don't have a maid.4 s Lacie90 2

I loved this story. Starts out feeling it might be just another chick lit story of a wealthy, privileged woman betrayed by a worthless husband. But the story & the writing go so much further. The heroine (Nora) and her husband (Evan) go through a lot of changes. It does a beautiful job of showing the evolution of a person and a relationship during a difficult time. The descriptions of the baking, gardening are so vivid too!3 s Shoshana445 7

I couldn't finish it.

I mean, I was interested by the story (a woman has to care for her family and find herself after her husband is jailed for white collar crime and their assets are seized), so I thought I would push through it. I'm actually generally unsympathetic toward rich people who think they have money problems, but I am naturally very sympathetic toward women who have been screwed over by their husbands, so with some good character development I could have been really won over (plus she bakes and I books about baking).

But! The writing! Was just so bad! So bad! I'm not sure how to describe the stilted telling-not-showing run-on-sentence-heaven that is Weinreb (a former journalist)'s prose. So here's an excerpt:

"Nora had been keeping up appearances for two months since the arrest when the exhaustion of the effort and of all she was now managing alone swelled to the feeling that a blood vessel would burst if she didn't rest. A stomach virus had struck the boys the previous night and she had spent the moonlit hours shuffling one and then the other to the bathroom, changing sheets and pajamas, showering soiled bodies, wondering as she armloaded laundry into a brief, dark calm at how life had not turned into a dead end, but into a desperate, endless, solitary swim through treacle. She had left when Beatriz arrived only because she needed respite from the stench of her life even more than rest."

Was that middle sentence even a sentence?

Ok, not every single paragraph in the book is that bad... but there are enough. You get the gist. I actually made it almost halfway through because I wanted so badly to see Nora grow - but she wasn't even worth it. She's uninteresting. Weinreb goes on and on about how strong she is, how much stronger than all the other shallow rich women she hangs out with, blah blah blah, but I don't buy it for a second! She whines and whines some more and relies on others instead of taking any action on her own, and I was done.

Plus, there wasn't enough baking.adult did-not-finish realistic2 s Eileen228

I started out enjoying this book because it thinly veils the places it is actually speaking about. The private school? Must be Rippowam Cisqua based on the location description. Trick or treating on Halloween in Katonah- legend around these parts. So initially it was a romp.

But as I continued to read, it was not enough for it to be a romp to keep my attention. The writing is poor! The characters are more charicatures. They are poorly developed and one-dimensional. In the end I realized I was reading drivel and just skimmed over the pages.

Disappointing! 2 s Christine165 13

This book was so inspirational to me. I love that Nora created a new life for herself and her children after dealing with a tragedy. This book really shows you how life's obstacles can create a better and stronger self. I hope to one day be able to live my dream Nora did.favorites foodie-novels-books2 s Lisa403 52

When I started reading THE SUMMER KITCHEN, Karen Weinreb's debut novel, I immediately felt I was going to Nora. She seemed different than the other Bedford wives in that she didn't seem to be as . . . snobby, for lack of a better word. And though I kept that feeling for her throughout the book, I can't say that I related to her at all. Obviously, I don't live in that kind of lifestyle and I don't know any women who do, for that matter, so it was hard to put myself in her shoes. I d the premise of the story about a woman trying to put her life back together after her husband's arrest, and the inner strength she discovers, however, I was expecting something with a little more depth. The story just didn't move me I thought it would. I don't want to say too much for those who have yet to read it, but for me, the plot fell a little flat. I found parts of the story just weren't realistic for me. For instance, after her husband is arrested, Nora suffers another devastating loss and I was disappointed that this event was hardly addressed at all. I felt such an incident should've had more of an impact on Nora, which might have given me a more emotional connection to her. However, there was more focus on her sexual fantasies with one of the other husbands, than of the losses she endured. I also felt the story was forced at times - the author was trying to make certain points before the end of the book. Speaking of the ending, although it was satisfying for the most part, it all just seemed a bit unbelievable to me.
1 Pythia181 9

La bottega del titolo compare a romanzo praticamente finito: prima, un interminabile racconto delle sfortune economiche di Nora, madre e moglie che non ha mai avuto un pensiero per i soldi che le escono fin dalle orecchie.
Nora non ha una casa, ha una villa, pure antica. Non ha una cucina, ha una stanza separata dal resto della casa, ovviamente attrezzatissima. Stranamente non ha una cuoca, fa tutto da sola.
Nora non ha amiche, solo conoscenti, madri e mogli come lei, ricche sfondate come lei, che ovviamente (non) si vedono nel momento del bisogno.
Nora ha tre figli bellissimi e perfetti, cresciuti da una tata dal passato torbido: cosa c'è di più naturale per una madre che affidare le proprie creature a un'estranea senza referenze?
Nora si distingue dalle non-amiche perché legge, ma lo fa di nascosto perché non è trendy.
Nora diventa povera perché il marito ha scherzato col fuoco e ta-daaa! Si rimbocca le maniche e diventa una pasticcera di successo.
Morale: i soldi non fanno la felicità, si sta tanto bene alla scuola pubblica, i quartieri delle persone non-ricche sono così carini, mio marito è in prigione ma lo lovvo ancora, ognuno di noi la Forza nascosta in sé ha.
Grazie per la lezione: se avessi voluto un manuale di self-help me lo sarei cercata. Volevo un romanzo, ho trovato un grande boh. cucina letture-leggere ma-anche-no ...more1 Kaye87

Ultimately, this book has a good-hearted, if preachy message, but wading through the mediocre writing and often-awkward wording to arrive at it was painful at times. I figure I can’t really criticize a book if I don’t finish it, and it was our book club selection, otherwise I never would have finished it. If you redemption books about shallow, vapid people, some of whom wake up and become real, you’ll this book. Otherwise, there are many, many stellar and meaningful books you might choose instead. 1 Boris Bender1 review

Would have given ZERO stars to this poorly-written drivel if possible. Perhaps it got better after page 40 but thats as far as I could make it before throwing in the towel on Nora and her self-righteousness. I was hoping for something fabulous but the ponderous, sometimes aimless writing made me seriously consider whether the author is actually Ivy League-educated...I saw better wordsmithing from High School Juniors. Skip this dumpster fire and save your money and time.1 Cindi49

It was so hard for me to feel sorry for Nora, whose husband was arrested by the Feds, and who was left wringing her hands about concerns that only the insanely rich have. I don't know why I even finished this book, written in from one-dimensional, unreal, yet so predictable point-of-view. 1 Devorah Katz98 1 follower

I really wanted to this book... and it wasn't bad, but it was not as good as I'd been hoping. The story shines a light on people who live such extravagant and superficial lives that I couldn't relate to them. That is fine; I read plenty of novels that I do not relate to the setting, and manage just fine. This book however, I felt the the protagonist's transformation and self-discovery was predictable and contrived. It wasn't horrible - there were parts that were really moving, which is why I didn't give this 1 or 2 stars. I just felt disappointed because I was really hoping for better.

(Also, it may be nit-picky, but there were several instances where the sentence structure was odd. In other words, if a sentence could be constructed correctly in one of two ways, the author went with the less-common way of phrasing the sentence. If it had happened once or twice I wouldn't comment, but I noticed it several times throughout the book, and it halted the flow of the story in each case as I stopped to consider whether the sentence structure was accurate or off... because it seemed off.) Stephanie Fitzgerald875

For me, this was a fascinating glimpse into the “lifestyles of the rich and famous”, my own suburban experiences being far removed from those of the book characters. It was also a good read about what one can accomplish if thrown a curveball in life (or several), and through determination chooses to make a life of the new normal, instead of just giving up.
On the lighter side, I would not suggest reading this book when you are hungry. You will find yourself heading for the kitchen for a snack, all the while wishing you could taste all the delectable treats and recipes mentioned!
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