I had high expectations for this book; the Amateur Gourmet, whom I love, loved it. Unfortunately, we don't seem to share the same taste in books.
I have a new rule not to keep on reading anything I'm not interested in, and very early on in the book, I almost quit. I kept going though, and it was almost worth it. The premise is that Severson, a food writer for The New York Times, talks about the life lessons that eight female cooks taught her. It's a weak premise and kind of pretentious. "Ooh, I'm friends with Rachael Ray." "Ooh, Marion Cunningham was a mother figure to me." It reminds me of books like Cleaving or Committed, where the author pretends they're going to write a study of something, like butchery or marriage, and then writes all about themselves, like their torrid affair, their fear of marriage, or in this case, their tortured journey through alcoholism and coming out as a lesbian. I found it too contrived. Your meeting with Marcella Hazan was meant to help you find closure with your mother or something? Please.
I didn't even care for any of the recipes.