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Buy The Woman Who Wanted More: 'Beautifully written, full of insight and food' Katie Fforde by Vicky Zimmerman from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9781785765322
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Book Review: The Woman Who Wanted More: 'Beautifully written, full of insight and food' Katie Fforde by Vicky Zimmerman - Reviewed by CloggieA (16 Jul 2020)
4.5?s Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies (also published as The Woman Who Wanted More) is a novel by British author, Vicky Zimmerman (also writing as Stella Newman). They were on vacation in France when he told her. The plan had been for Kate Parker to move in with her boyfriend Nick Sullivan on their return, but now he is unsure, confused about how he feels. She gives him two months to unconfuse himself (they are so happy together!) and reluctantly moves in with her irritating widowed mother.
Rita Parker alternates between dispensing therapeutic advice (she’s majored in psychobabble) and volunteering Kate’s services for neighbourhood chores. Kate misses Nick so much she needs a better distraction, and Lauderdale Home for Exceptional Ladies provides it: cooking demonstrations, at first, but eventually, she settles into weekly visits with a ninety-seven-year-old resident, Cecily Finn.
Cecily is no sweet little old lady: criticising and insulting are her forte “Cecily’s mind and tongue are sharp as lime juice on an ulcer.” But gradually Kate finds that they have a love of food and cooking in common, that Cecily’s life has been full and fascinating, the perfect distraction from the thought that she may be jobless, single and forty by Christmas.
Cecily had been a writer; Katy is a writer, but of food descriptions for her supermarket employer, the greatest challenge being alliteration. Cecily expresses her disdain, and when she learns of Kate’s boyfriend situation, she doesn’t hold back on advice: “The only reason you’d countenance a man doubting you is if you doubt yourself” and “He’s clearly inadequate. He doesn’t realize how lucky he is. Find a better man” and “You like icing so much you’re willing to eat substandard cake”.
Cecily demands: “Next Sunday, I want to hear that you’ve at least spoken to a new man”. She does, however, offer something concrete: Thought for Food is a recipe book with a difference from which Kate takes inspiration, even before she realises that Cecily wrote it some over fifty years earlier. Chapters like “Dinner for the Man You Hope to Marry” and “Dinner for a Charming Stranger” seem both intriguing and appropriate.
Some of Kate’s friends believe Nick deserves a second chance; others feel Kate can do much better, and one points out that while Kate confronts her boss over his indecisiveness regards rumoured redundancies, she tolerates Nick’s equally frustrating prevarication about their future. She’s told: “Nick’s not a project; you don’t get brownie points for fixing him.”
Eventually, from “a woman whose world may now be confined to one small room, but who has lived an expansive life full of great joys and profound sorrows, and who speaks truth” Kate begins to gain the confidence to demand a better life for herself. Based on the author’s grandmother, this is a heart-warming read about love and friendship and self-worth. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark.
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