Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Book Review - Sweetbitter

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler defines the crucial transition from girl to woman, from living in a place that feels like nowhere to living in a place that feels like the center of the universe. (cover blurb)
Our heroine, Tess, is a flawed slightly na├»ve young lady who gets a job at a known Manhattan restaurant. There she learns the art of eating – a celebration of palate, sweet, bitter, salt and the textures involved in food. Simone the all-knowing connoisseur senior server teaches Tess about the fine art of service. Jake, the elusive bartender, is a mystery and teaches her heartbreak.

Champagne, oysters, cocaine, lust, love, and dive bars  - Tess runs in a nonstop world. The book covers a year and the pace is fast and tantalizing. Danler’s writing is wry, descriptive, and rich. She immerses you in the restaurant world.  I wanted to visit her fictionalized places – eat, drink wine, and enjoy New York nightlife or lowlife.   

p.6  Salt:  your mouth waters itself. Flakes from Brittany, liquescent on contact. Blocks of pink salt from the Himalayas, matte gray clumps from Japan. An endless stream of kosher salt, falling from Chef’s hand. Salting, the most nuanced of enterprises, the food always requesting more, but the tipping point fatal.  Now if I eat something that’s too salty I think about that fatal terminology. Danler captures food, the process, and the insanity of the restaurant world.

Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of  what remains after disillusionment, and the transformation and wisdom that come from our experiences, sweet and bitter.  (cover blurb)


17 comments:

  1. An excellent title for what promises to be a best seller. Good review Beverly.
    Congrats to Stephanie and good luck to her.
    Yvonne.

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  2. PS: SORRY JOANNE I GOT YOUR NAME WRONG.
    YVONNE.

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  3. Sounds interesting but weeding through all my books still with resolve not to add to the list.

    Betty

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  4. Leaving the reader wanting to go really says something about the writing indeed

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    1. well, and I"m biased because I do like NYC

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  5. This sounds good! I like books that take me into another world.

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  6. Very interesting plot. I'll be honest, NYC scares me. It's so frenetic. I can't imagine being a chef in a prestigious Manhattan restaurant. Talk about stress.

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    1. I love the energy. I always have a blast and such good food!!

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  7. Why does it seem like men named Jake are always heartbreakers? Sounds like an exciting read. Thank you, Joanne.

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  8. Sounds like a terrific book. I just finished an older book (written in the '80s) called "Hot Flashes." (No cold lemonade, though. Although I couldn't entirely relate to the strong feminist nature of most of the women, the writing is absolutely stellar.

    (Enjoy your trip! Woo HOOOOO!)

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    1. Thanks. Stellar writing counts for a lot

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  9. I've never heard of this one. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. It had good buzz in the summer release reviews

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