Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee: Review and Q&A


With the glass kitchen, Linda Francis Lee has served up a novel that is about the courage it takes to follow your heart and be yourself. A true recipe for life. 
Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan . . . and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream. The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.

I love a story about triumph over tragedy and sadness.  THE GLASS KITCHEN has so many amazing elements that make it a great read.  There are sad and upsetting circumstances that lead to triumph over those circumstances and lead to self discovery.  With great characters, great pace and a story woven with love, inspiration and soul THE GLASS KITCHEN is a story that will please the readers taste and appetite for the written word. 4.5 stars


Linda Francis Lee is a native Texan now calling New York City home. Linda’s writing career began when her article “There Is No Finish Line” was published in her university’s quarterly magazine. But she got sidetracked from writing when she started teaching probability and statistics. Later she found her way back to writing, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution called her breakout novel, Blue Waltz, “absolutely stunning.”
Now Linda is the author of twenty-one novels that are published in twenty countries around the world. Two of her most recent novels are in development for feature films.
When Linda isn’t writing, she loves to run in Central Park and spend time with her husband, family, and friends. She loves to hear from readers.

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A.  I write as a way of channeling what I feel. Frequently, I come to understand what exactly I feel about something by writing about it. It always amazes me how I will start out with a thought, and by the act of actually writing, the plot changes to accommodate all that I come to understand. As much as I'm a plotter, I never end up with a book that is much of anything like what I started out to create.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?        
A.  Hmmm, I love the feeling of being creative, of making my brain work. But writing is difficult. There is very little about writing that is easy. But there is nothing better than hitting one of those zones where everything comes to life and my hands can't keep up with my brain. THAT is my favorite thing about being a writer!

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. See above.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. Maybe a geologist, or archeologist. Something that digs into the past that tells very different kinds of stories.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. Oh, yikes. The Misadventures of Linda Lee?? It would definitely be a fun book.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A.  How about favorite movie of all time – which would have to be The Sound of Music. It's hard to pick just one book, but while there are so many movies I love, The Sound of Music stays with me as the first movie I ever saw, the way it transported me. I had no idea that it was even possible to be transported into another world. As soon as I saw it, I wanted to create my own stories.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I would love to be like some famous, fabulous woman like Coco Chanel, but I am probably more like Stephanie Plum.

Q.  What character from all of your booksare you most like?
A.  I think with every book I'm never like any one character. In THE GLASS KITCHEN, there are parts of me in all three of the Cuthcart Sisters. Portia wants a white-picket fence world, but Olivia outright rejects that desire. I feel both of those things, the desire for safety and stasis, combine with the desire to feel totally alive.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. As traumatic as Diana Gabaldon's Outlander can be, I would love to step back in time and experience a life long past – but that is only if I have the assurance that it's only for a weekend!

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A.  I love early fall in New York. The bite of summer heat is gone, and the weather is beautiful in September and October, as if nature knows it has to give you something close to perfect just before it doles outthe harsh grid of winter.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A.  My fabulous editor Jen Enderlin found the image for the cover of THE GLASS KITCHEN. And I can honestly say that of all twenty-one of my book covers, I am madly in love with this one.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. Years ago when I was touring for THE DEVIL IN THE JUNIOR LEAGUE I was faced with a fairly forbidding crowd of disgruntled Junior Leaguers. But after I told my story, after I told them how much I believe in the Junior League, they always loosened up . . . and the first question I would be asked frequently was: Is Sawyer Jackson real?

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A.  I am! It's another novel about a woman finding her way after hitting a bump in the road. I love the idea that we aren't defined by the bumps we hit in the road. Instead we are defined by how we pick ourselves up and move forward.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  I hope that you'll give THE GLASS KITCHEN: A Novel of Sisters a try. And if you do, I hope you'll fall in love with Portia, Ariel and Gabriel. Thank you for having me!

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