Polhemus Press, October 2009
Lilly and Val are lifelong friends, united as much by their differences as by their similarities. Lilly, dramatic and confident, lives in the shadow of her beautiful, wayward mother and craves the attention of her distant, disapproving father. Val, shy and idealistic -- and surprisingly ambitious -- struggles with her desire to break free from her demanding housebound mother and a father whose dreams never seem to come true.
In childhood, "LillyPad" and "Valpal" vow to form an exclusive two-person club. Throughout the decades they write intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets -- and recipes, from Lilly's "Lovelorn Lasagna" to Valerie's "Forgiveness Tapenade." Readers can cook along as the girls travel through time, facing the challenges of independence; the joys and heartbreaks of first love; and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred.
But no matter what different paths they take or what misunderstandings threaten to break them apart, Lilly and Val always find their way back together through their Recipe Club . . . until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.
Now, decades later, while trying to recapture the trust they've lost, Lilly and Val reunite once more -- only to uncover a shocking secret. Will it destroy their friendship, or bring them ever closer?
hardcover | ISBN: 9780982349205 | Publication Date: October 2009
"Food and love without the schmaltz and warm fuzzies is what kept me turning the pages of this book. Yes, there are recipes, nostalgic and good ones, but the fascination is in how they mark the years of a childhood friendship struggling to become a life long one. If you're lucky enough to have that one true best friend, you'll find all the love, prickliness, laughter, blood curdling honesty, and joy here."
--Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of "The Splendid Table®," National Public Radio's food show from American Public Media
"I've been to many combat zones so I knew a real fight when I see one -- and the characters in this book pull no punches. But what
surprised me is how their conflict is just as engaging as their crazy
humor and deep affection for each other. This book perfectly combines
my two favorite things in the world: fiction and food. It's a great
--Bob Woodruff, ABC News anchor and journalist
"The Recipe Club is an
extraordinary culinary fiction creation -- a main dish consisting of a
tender and poignant tale of love and friendship, served up with tasty
sides of wonderful recipes. This is more than comfort food, it's haute
--Isaiah Sheffer, host of National Public Radio's "Selected Shorts: A Celebration of Short Story"
"An absorbing novel that reflects the wisdom of MFK Fisher . . . a
satisfying meal for both body and soul."
--Sara Moulton, host of "Sara's Weeknight Meals" and executive chef, Gourmet Magazine