Portia Cuthcart has spent years suppressing her cooking magic and trying to be the perfect politicians wife. Even after her husband’s betrayal and an acrimonious divorce, Portia is afraid to let magic have too much control over her life. However, her sisters are facing difficulties of their own and want Portia’s help reviving their grandmother’s restaurant. Portia has an even harder time saying no to her attractive neighbor and his children, all of whom are still coming to terms with losing their wife/mother. Portia wants to take a chance on magic again but she’s not certain that even a cooking a good meal can solve all of her problems.
I picked up The Glass Kitchen immediately after finishing the beautiful but heartbreaking The End of Your Life Book Club and it was exactly the heartwarming read I was hoping for. I loved the idea of cooking magic, with Portia drawing on the power of food to make people feel certain emotions to give people exactly what they need. I also loved the way Portia often compared things or people to food. Since we all have experience with food, I thought it was a good way to create descriptions people could relate to. It also added to the cozy feel of the book.
Portia’s personality in general was one of my favorite parts of the book. She’s compassionate and caring, but quirky and stubborn too. I was less fond of the love interest, her stubborn, possessive, over-protective neighbor. Even though Portia was able to stand up to his powerful personality, even though he had to learn to compromise and admit he was wrong, I finished the book still not sure how I felt about him. I wasn’t completely convinced their relationship wasn’t mostly based on sexual attraction and I wanted more than that for Portia. On the other hand, I loved everything about her relationship with the neighbor’s daughters. Portia’s interaction with them helped differentiate this story from all the other fluffy, you-know-they’ll-end-up-together books out there. This still wasn’t my favorite ever book of that variety, but was a very sweet story and one I’d particularly recommend to foodies looking for a happy, cozy read.This review first published on Doing Dewey.