My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is a genre of books where a group of people (usually women with one lone guy thrown into the mix) gather together in some sort of club or class (knitting, quilting, Jane Austen books or in this case, cooking) and by the end of the book, they have formed close friendships and had a major problem in their lives resolved through the magic of whatever interest had drawn them together in the first place. Sometimes, this genre can produce a good book or even a good series of books (for example – The Elm Creek Quilt series). And sometimes, it can result in books that are a little cotton candy-ish. By that I mean, they are light, fluffy, fun to consume but really don’t have much substance.
The Love Goddess’ Cooking School is one of the better examples of the genre. It sort of reminded me of the Friday Night Knitting Club meets the Under the Tuscan Sun (more the film version than the book itself but still) with little hints of Laura Esquivel or Joanne Harris thrown in for flavor.
While it does end in the typical “everything-worked-out and everyone-is-perfectly-matched-up-and-happy” sort of way, it doesn’t cut corners getting there. The characters and the plotlines felt honest and realistic. And while The Love Goddess’ Cooking School will never be considered great literature, it was a fun, easy-going and satisfying read.