Book Review: The Kitchen Daughter (ARC)

The Kitchen Daughter (ARC)
Author: Jael McHenry
Pages: 352 pgs
Reading Level: Adult
Release Date: April 12th 2011
Review Source: Simon & Schuster
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Borders

Summary: (from goodreads) After the unexpected death of her parents, painfully shy and sheltered 26-year-old Ginny Selvaggio seeks comfort in cooking from family recipes. But the rich, peppery scent of her Nonna’s soup draws an unexpected visitor into the kitchen: the ghost of Nonna herself, dead for twenty years, who appears with a cryptic warning (“do no let her…”) before vanishing like steam from a cooling dish.
A haunted kitchen isn’t Ginny’s only challenge. Her domineering sister, Amanda, (aka “Demanda”) insists on selling their parents’ house, the only home Ginny has ever known. As she packs up her parents’ belongings, Ginny finds evidence of family secrets she isn’t sure how to unravel. She knows how to turn milk into cheese and cream into butter, but she doesn’t know why her mother hid a letter in the bedroom chimney, or the identity of the woman in her father’s photographs. The more she learns, the more she realizes the keys to these riddles lie with the dead, and there’s only one way to get answers: cook from dead people’s recipes, raise their ghosts, and ask them.

Intrigued by the ghosts and mystery in the story, as well as the fact it hits a cord close to home, my nephew suffers from autism, I offered to review this book.
Ginny , finds herself struggling against the fact, that people are trying to “label her” for being  different and she wants to proof otherwise. She suffers from an undiagnosed kind of autism (Asperger’s
syndrome) but fights to prove that she can function as a normal person. The death of both her parents unleashes the search for the solution to her problems. She uses cooking as a shelter, as her Mom  taught her, and implements this ability in her search. Ginny  accidently discovers that her cooking  can temporarily bring back the ghosts of love ones. She experiments using  her  hand written recipes to cook and this brings to light a few family secrets.  These developments puts her in a frenzy to help her sister’s daughter and also prove to her that she is capable of performing as a normal independent adult.
The book is well written and you can’t help to feel the frustration and accomplishments, as the character comes to terms with her disability and  learns to modify her behavior to be self-sufficient.


  1. Love the cover!:D
    its something new(:

  2. Thanks for reviewing this book. I can't wait to pick it up and just added it to my LONG list of books to be read.

  3. I love the cover! As always, great review Trudy! <3


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