Domestic Magic

Angelina's Bachelors: a Novel, With Food

By Brian O'Reilly

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Managing sudden widowhood and joblessness by cooking bounteous and sumptuous feasts that she shares with her neighbors, Angelina D'Angelo is offered a job as cook for a retiree and his elderly sister and finds her culinary talents winning her a circle of friends and protectors. (summary)
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Chocolat

By Joanne Harris

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When the beautiful and mysterious Vianne moves to Lansquenet and opens a chocolate shop across from the church, the inhabitants of the tiny village find themselves torn between the solemn law of religion and the joyful rewards of Vianne's confections. (from summary)
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Eat Cake

By Jeanne Ray

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Ruth loves to bake cakes. When she is alone, she dreams up variations on recipes. When she meditates, she imagines herself in the warm, comforting center of a gigantic bundt cake. If there is a crisis, she bakes a cake; if there is a reason to celebrate, she bakes a cake. Ruth sees it as an outward manifestation of an inner need to nurture her family--which is a good thing, because all of a sudden that family is rapidly expanding. (from summary)
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Edible Stories: a Novel in Sixteen Parts

By Mark Kurlansky

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Kurlansky reveals the bond that can hold people together, tear them apart, or make them become vegan: food. Through muffins or hot dogs, an indigenous Alaskan fish soup, a bean curd Thanksgiving turkey or potentially toxic creme brulee, a rotating cast of characters learns how to honor the past, how to realize you're not in love with someone any more, and how to forgive. (from summary)
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Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon

By Jorge Amado

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Nacib Saad has just lost the cook at his popular cafe and in desperation hires Gabriela. To his surprise she turns out to be a great beauty as well as a wonderful cook and an enchanting boon to his business. (from summary)
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Garden Spells

By Sarah Addison Allen

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The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. (from summary)
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La Cucina: a Novel of Rapture

By Lily Prior

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La Cucina, the heart of the family's lush estate, was a place where generations of Fiore women prepared sumptuous feasts and where the drama of extended family life was played out around the age-old table. When Rosa was a teenager, her own cooking became the stuff of legend in this small community that takes pride in the bounty of its landscape and the eccentricity of its inhabitants. (from summary)
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Like Water for Chocolate: a Novel in Monthly Installments, With Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies

By Laura Esquivel

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Despite the fact that she has fallen in love with a young man, Tita, the youngest of three daughters born to a tyrannical rancher, must obey tradition and remain single and at home to care for her mother. (summary)
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Pomegranage Soup

By Marsha Mehran

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The three Aminpour sisters escape the Iranian Revolution and make their way west to a small Irish village. There they pursue a well-worn path to assimilation by taking over an abandoned Italian bakery and opening the Babylon Cafe. It takes a while to win over the insular townsfolk, but they manage to make a success of their restaurant, charming even the local priest. (from BookList)
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Red Garden

By Alice Hoffman

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A young wounded civil war solider is saved by a passionate neighbor, a woman meets a fiercely human historical character, a poet falls in love with a blind man, and a mysterious traveler comes to town in the year when summer never arrives. At the center of everyone's life is a mysterious garden where only red plants can grow, and where the truth can be found by those who dare to look. (summary)
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