Simple Recipes by Madeleine Thien (119)

This month, I have read two books by Madeleine Thien.  She is one of those writers that you can sit with a nice tall cup of coffee or mocha and just peruse page by page.  And that is precisely what I did over two weekends with two of her wonderful books–this one that I am reviewing and Certainty which I will be reviewing next!

These stories are wonderful!  They are dense with imagery and intention.  I just loved them so much!

This book marks the exciting debut of Madeleine Thien. The seven stories in her collection focus on the emotionally changed territory of family relationships and examine the experience of alienation, weaving in the conflict between generations and cultures.

A young woman searches back in time for the pivotal moment when her family lost faith in itself. Her two sisters station themselves across the street from their family home, now sold, hoping that their mother, whom they have not seen in a year, will appear one last time.

It is also a story about a wife that becomes obsessed with someone who discovers that her husband has loved since childhood.

The story also focuses on a high school student who finds herself unable to confront the abuse that may lie beneath a friend’s possessiveness.

Lastly, the story is about a woman who relives the familiar ceremony of food preparation and the moment when her unconditional love for her father was called into question.

This book is introspective and very revealing. You kind of feel that you are peering into the personal lives of these people. And despite the fact that you never met these characters, you feel that you know them very well by the end of the book!

What a wonderful book!  This is one of the most momentous books I read this year!

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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About irenesroth

I am a freelance and academic writer. I am currently writing a book called `Fearless Freelance Writers`. Please look out for it soon on this blog.
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