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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

From acclaimed novelist Kate Christensen, Blue Plate Special is a mouthwatering literary memoir about an unusual upbringing and the long, winding path to happiness. “To taste fully is to live fully.” For Kate Christensen, food and eating have always been powerful connectors to self and world—“a subterranean conduit to sensuality, memory, desire.” Her appetites run deep; in her own words, she sp…

Overall Book Review:

Books about food fascinate me. They always have. Reading the middle grade Redwall series, my mouth would water at the lavish spreads the little rodents would devour. So it is only natural that I would be attracted to this book with a wonderful title and a beautiful cover–even though I have never read any of Kate Christensen’s novels (on my to-read list now for sure!). This book isn’t a foodie book, per se. It is filled with memories that the author has involving food, but it also has plentiful information about her life and her upbringing that have nothing to do with eating. I go through spurts where I love, love, love memoirs and biographies, and right now I am in one of those moods, so perhaps I am biased, but this book is wonderful.

The most endearing thing about this book was Kate’s honesty and willingness to share what has formed her into the person she is. She tells of her memories of both good times and bad, and in everything she is thorough in descriptions, even when I am sure it might have been easier for her to push some memories to the back of her mind in an attempt to forget them. Sometimes she admits to restricting food because she is feeling depressed, and other times she writes of indulging too much because she is feeling empty and alone. Many readers will be able to relate to both situations and see a bit of themselves, which is what we are all looking for isn’t it?–A kindred spirit in a world that can sometimes be cold and lonely.


Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  5 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 3 anatomical terms; 1 F-Word derivative

Violence/Gore:  A man is mentioned to have choked and died; a father abuses his wife (hits her and pulls her hair) which is mentioned several times; an individual is mentioned to have committed suicide; fantasy violence is mentioned in one brief scene (the author describes a scene in a book she is reading).

Sex/Nudity:  Minors kiss; minors are mentioned to be sexually active; two adults are described very briefly to make love; sex before marriage is implied; a boy is mentioned to expose himself to his peers; two mature discussions involving sex; a man and woman are mentioned to swim nude, this incidence is portrayed in a sexual way; sexual desires are expressed by the author several times; child molestation is mentioned twice with some very brief detail; attempted rape is mentioned with no detail.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, divorce, stealing, attempted rape, child molestation (mention).

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Minors drink; adults drink; drug use is mentioned; smoking pot is mentioned.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
6
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
2
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
6
10

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.