Elisabeth Page is the daughter of Ben Page, yes, that's right, THE world famous novelist. And yes, she's also the sister of Rascal Page, world famous novelist in his own right. So what does Elisabeth do? Much to her family's disappointment, Elisabeth is a pastry chef. And a pretty damn good one, at Beverly, the hottest restaurant in LA.
The last relationship Elisabeth had was with Will, a man she grew up with and whose family ran in the same social circles as her family. But Will's constant jaunts around the world have left her lonely and brokenhearted in L.A.
That is until Daniel Sullivan bids on one of Elisabeth's pastry tutorials at a charity auction. Daniel is everything her family is not: a basketball coach, a non-intellectual, his family doesn't summer on Martha's Vineyard, and the only metaphors he uses are about passing the ball and being a team player. But somehow they fit.
Between her family, Will, and the new cooking show that Elisabeth is recruited to star in, Elisabeth's life is suddenly incredibly new and different--the question is, can she embrace being happy or has her family conditioned her to think she's just not good enough?
Liza Palmer expertly depicts a woman trying to come to terms with professional success, personal success, and finally dealing with a family that might love her from the bottom of their heart but doesn't necessarily have her best interest always at heart.
Palmer follows up her mirthful debut, Conversations with the Fat Girl, with a subtly sophisticated romance that outclasses most of the genre's other offerings. Elisabeth Page is a 30-year-old pastry chef at L.A.'s restaurant du jour whose perpetually knotted stomach has roots in any number of sources: her father, Ben, a two-time Pulitzer-winning novelist and "the kind of cultural icon that doesn't exist anymore," with whom "every conversation is a chess game"; childhood sweetheart Will Houghton, whose globe-trotting as a journalist has stunted their ill-defined relationship; the head chef from hell at her all-consuming job; and her patrician family's way of "bonding through blood sport." But relief begins to filter in as Elisabeth's dalliance with beer-drinking, salt-of-the-earth basketball coach Daniel Sullivan turns into a fulfilling relationship and her culinary career takes an unexpected turn. If it sounds chick litty, it is, but consider it haute chick lit; Palmer's prose is sharp, her characters are solid and her narrative is laced with moments of graceful sentiment.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book is a story of Elizabeth, who is a pastry chef, in an over-achieving, intellectual, old money family in California. Her story, and that of her family is believable and lovely. I really enjoyed reading this book. Liza Palmer has created a group of completely believable, alive, well developed characters. This book left me feeling hopeful for the ability of people to grow and improve, and reminded me of my own first experiences in a family, and the steps apparently shared by this author in her character Elizabeth, to turn those experiences into my own definition of love and family.