This is the third book I’ve read by Erica Bauermeister. It is my third favorite of her books. My favorite is Joy for Beginners, next The School of Essential Ingredients. The Lost Art of Mixing has some of the same characters as School and I liked that. I enjoy reading how characters have continued on after the end of a book I’ve enjoyed.
Erica Bauermeister seems to like to have each chapter feature a certain character and continue her plot thread through those characters. It worked in the previous two books, but for this book, I found it to be a disjointed approach. I felt as if I was reading a compilation of short stories with a similar, though minor, thread. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad story, just not as good as the ones of hers I’ve read before. You, also, don’t have to have read The School of Essential Ingredients to understand what is happening in The Lost Art of Mixing.
If you only have time to read one of Ms. Bauermeister’s books, then I’d recommend Joy for Beginners. It is a wonderful book. You can read my little write-up about it here.
The book’s description from Amazon (since I couldn’t quite figure out how to explain it):
Lillian and her restaurant have a way of drawing people together. There’s Al, the accountant who finds meaning in numbers and ritual; Chloe, a budding chef who hasn’t learned to trust after heartbreak; Finnegan, quiet and steady as a tree, who can disappear into the background despite his massive height; Louise, Al’s wife, whose anger simmers just below the boiling point; and Isabelle, whose memories are slowly slipping from her grasp. And there’s Lillian herself, whose life has taken a turn she didn’t expect. . . .
Their lives collide and mix with those around them, sometimes joining in effortless connections, at other times sifting together and separating again, creating a family that is chosen, not given.
For my 2013 reading goal, I am keeping up with one fiction book per month. I am also linking up with the Deliberate Reader for her 2013 Reading Challenge.
January’s read–The Quarryman’s Wife
February’s read–Better Than Chocolate
Those are my thoughts for today.