Just Read

The Lost Art Of Mixing – Erica Bauermeister

Genre: Chick-lit, women’s fiction, fiction, foodie fiction, contemporary fiction, magical realism

I wish I could write like Erica Bauermeister. Her writing has a fluid quality to it – while you read her books, you feel her words washing over you, entering you, filling you up. It wouldn’t be wrong to call her a master storyteller, someone who captures moments expertly. She can make you see the characters of her books in front of your very eyes, make you feel their pain and glee. Her books stir something deep inside you, make your heart flutter. I take my time with this author’s books, savouring them bit by little bit, prolonging my reading as much as I can, but then, there are moments when I want to gobble up large chunks of them, greedily. These feelings of mine were strengthened as I, recently, completed my latest read – Erica Bauermeister’s The Lost Art Of Mixing.

I adored the author’s The School Of Essential Ingredients, and couldn’t stop recommending it to people. The next book of hers that I read, Joy For Beginners, made me fall further in love with her writing style, but I didn’t connect as much with the book. The Lost Art Of Mixing is the third book by this author that I have read.

The Lost Art Of Mixing is a continuation of, a sequel to, The School Of Essential Ingredients. The book offers an in-depth look into the heads of all the principal characters of The School Of Essential Ingredients, all the students who take a cooking class together – Lillian, Chloe, Tom, Al, and Isabelle. You get to know the characters better, understand why they are the way they are. I loved spending time with these characters, all over again, understanding their quirks. I didn’t like all of the characters and their stories, but I loved reading about them – again, I think, something only a writer like Erica Bauermeister can achieve. Some stories were extraordinarily beautiful, some extraordinarily bizarre, but, I guess, that’s how real-life people are too.

I absolutely adored the author’s writing again, in The Lost Art Of Mixing, but it didn’t hold the same magic for me as The School Of Essential Ingredients. Like all of the author’s books, this one too doesn’t have a proper beginning and end. There’s no well-drawn-out plot. The book is, actually, a collection of moments from the lives of the characters, a collection of their thoughts. I like reading those kinds of open-ended books, but someone who doesn’t might feel frustrated with it.

I can’t describe this book any better than this. It is the kind of book that has to be read, experienced, felt, understood. I would highly recommend the same to you, after you complete The School Of Essential Ingredients.

(Do check out my interview with author Erica Bauermeister here!)

Mother’s Day – Kirsty Scott

Genre: Chick-lit, contemporary fiction, fiction, women’s fiction

Katherine is the super rich, beautiful mommy who has the glam life and always-perfect mannerism that everyone envies. Gwen, mother of three children, quit her career to take care of her babies and is frustrated with her ‘home-maker’ status and her no-longer-beautiful body. Alison is struggling to regain her foothold at her workplace after becoming mother to a baby girl. At the onset, there seems to be just one thread in common between these three, very different, mothers – the fact that their kids are studying in the esteemed Farquahar’s Academy. Kirsty Scott’s book, Mother’s Day, is about how these three women find each other and, in the process, find themselves.

I picked this book up because my gut feeling told me to. I loved the storyline, but thought it would be just another brainless chick-lit that I would use to relieve my pent-up stress in between two ‘heavy’ reads. But then, this book was so much more than chick-lit! I absolutely loved reading it.

The author has done a brilliant job of etching out the characters – they are so very real, with their real lives and problems. They definitely aren’t damsels in distress who need to be rescued, but women with brains of their own. These women are mommies, too, a part of life that I am all too familiar with and could absolutely relate to, in the book.

I loved how the book isn’t all sappy romance or high drama, but still manages to grip one’s interest till the very end. There’s raw emotion, there’s wit, there’s sadness, there are twists and turns, there’s humour, there’s romance – everything in moderation. The book made me laugh out loud at places, brought tears to my eyes at others. I loved how the author has kept the ending open, and not brought it to some abrupt, happily-ever-after conclusion. The writing style is lovely, too.

There is so much that elevates Mother’s Day to a status above ‘mere chick-lit’. I would urge you to give it a shot, too.

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts about it?

What are you reading at the moment?

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