Page Turners

Page Turners for Food Lovers – Chapter 5

A spur-of-the-moment selection of good reads for those who enjoy literature with a side of dinner-time intrigue or tasteful food-inspired story-telling. Each chapter represents a new selection of two books. Enjoy. Make recommendations!


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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – by Betty Smith

“The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg… a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience… Francie learns early the meaning of hunger and the value of a penny… Like the Tree of Heaven that grows out of cement or through cellar gratings, resourceful Francie struggles against all odds to survive and thrive.”

The author writes from experience. Betty Smith, the daughter of German immigrants, grew up in poverty in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. While other novels we have featured in this segment were clearly lavish with feasts, this one offers a contrast as it depicts with fascinating accuracy life in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, including meal time and people’s relationship to food.

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The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“The story of Tilo, a young woman born in another time, in a faraway place, who is trained in the ancient art of spices and ordained as a mistress charged with special powers…  travels through time to Oakland, California, where she opens a shop from which she administers spices as curatives…  An unexpected romance… forces her to choose between the supernatural life… and the vicissitudes of modern life.”

Intertwined with mythology. Rich with descriptions of fragrance and texture. It is as though the protagonist is telling her story directly to the reader, perhaps while sitting at a table and enjoying a long, many-layered and perfectly spiced meal.

Happy Reading!

You may also enjoy – Famous Dinner Scenes

Find more Page Turners HERE

NOTICE: Excerpts in quotation marks are from We strongly encourage you to stop by your local library (Varnum Memorial Library, in Jeffersonville), or a local bookstore (Ebenezer Books, Johnson) to explore these and other titles. links are provided merely for your convenience and to offer a visual reference. 158 Main & JPD are not affiliated with Amazon.

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