Saturday, January 10, 2009
Dear Julia, by Amy Bronwen Zemser
Elaine is a shy and withdrawn girl with an unusual penchant for haute cuisine. She's been cooking since she was little and has perfected and memorized every recipe in Julia Child's books (except the omelet!). She has four brothers (counting the one who keeps borrowing her clothes and wants to be a girl). She has a stay-at-home Dad who's big into yoga. A high-powered Mom who is a member of Congress and can't understand why her eldest daughter wants to make a career out of sweating over a hot stove. But Elaine doesn't have a friend, so she writes letters to Julia Child for help but never manages to mail them off.
Enter Lucida Sans (as in the type face). She's never been good at anything except for trying everything with the aim of becoming famous. She's not quite made it, often because of her weakness for the evil Croton (a rotten fig, a flower gone to seed). But while she doesn't really understand cooking (her two Mom's fry up cream cheese sandwiches!), she sees an opportunity to help Elaine and help both girls achieve their dreams.
A bizarre and strange rollercoaster of fun and mayhem. While the ending goes a bit over the top, you cannot fault the general fun of the story. The characters are hillarious and memorable, and the situations outrageous. This is a delightful book and tops off a run of really good books I've been reading lately (recent arrivals to this BLOG may not believe that I pan far more often than I praise as I'm beginning to sound like a softie)!