Customer Reviews for

From the Kitchen of Half Truth

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I really enjoyed reading this story, a beautiful story about a d

    I really enjoyed reading this story, a beautiful story about a daughter and a mother. Do yourself a favor and pick this up today you will thoroughly enjoy it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I tend to form friendships with the books I read; some are acqua

    I tend to form friendships with the books I read; some are acquaintances, some pass through friends and others are keepers.  This book is a keeper.  Unfortunately, because of that it's harder to write a review without sounding overly gushy.  But if I have to sing the praises of a book then this one is it.

    First, the pacing and atmosphere of this book is spot on.  Goodin begins the book with what feels like magical realism and weaves it all the way through her narrative,  making it an integral part of her main character.  The pacing is slow without being boring, like the walk you take the first day of Spring soaking up the sun and flowers.

    I immediately identified with and sympathized with Meg as she tried to balance the truth and fiction about her childhood.  She struggles to accept the stories her mother tells while trying to feed her need for truth.

    One of the strongest parts of From The Kitchen of Half Truths is the love story.  Not the traditional boy/girl love story but it's exploration of mother daughter relationships and their complexity.  I truly felt for these two women and wanted them to come together before it was too late.  The underlying romantic love story was a slow build and rang true.  However, I did find Mark's condescending artifice a bit heavy handed.

    I can tell you of you are expecting one of those quaint stories with recipes this is not the book, although good does play an integral part. The characters, are well drawn and "feel" very real.  From The Kitchen of Half Truths is well worth the time it takes to get into the story and know the characters.  

    Reviewed by Karon for Cocktails and Books

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

     I enjoyed reading this book very much.  It was like curling up

     I enjoyed reading this book very much.  It was like curling up under a blanket on a rainy day.  When I had to put it down, I couldn't wait to start reading it again and the words just flowed beautifully.  




    The stories that Meg's mother, Valerie, tells her about her childhood all reflect cooking or food in some way.  This makes sense as Valerie's passion is cooking.  She has filled Meg's head with wonderful stories and created this fantastical world where the scar on her head is from a bite from a crabcake; that they once had a spaghetti plant growing in their windowbox; that one summer the runner beans that they had picked all got up and ran away.  It is that last story about the runner beans that makes Meg realize at the age of 8, that maybe everything her mother tells her isn't the truth.  She decides that she is done with make believe and from there on out everything has to have it's basis in fact. Unfortunately, she has already been labeled as a 'liar' and kind of nutty for believing these stories and so her life growing up is a lonely one.  




    When she is 21 she goes back to spend the summer with her mother as her mother is dying.  She is still full of spirit though and greets each day as if nothing is wrong.  Meg tries to get her mother to tell her about her childhood, as well as face the fact that she is dying, but her mother continues to spin her fanciful tales and avoids the truth.  The gardener that Valerie has hired, Ewan, is very taken with Valerie and shares his own tales with her.  Try as she might, Meg just doesn't have the same connection to her mother that Ewan does - or maybe we should say the same acceptance that Ewan does.  She continues to dig for anything that might tell her something about her childhood.  




    I will say it again, I really enjoyed reading this book and was sorry to see it end.  It had lots of little bits of wisdom tucked into the quirky tales - some of which were quite humorous.  I loved the relationship that Meg had with her mother, even if she wasn't quite as satisfied with it as she felt she should be.  Even though she wanted answers to her questions, she also wanted to protect her mother as anything to do with her past seemed to upset her.  




    I think this would be a good book for a reading club- lots of stuff to discuss about relationships - those between mother and daughter; best friends; spouses or potential spouses.  There is also the big question that they raise in the synopsis - what kind of tales will we spin to give us the lives that we want?

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    What a wonderful book!  Full of humor and tenderness, and lesson

    What a wonderful book!  Full of humor and tenderness, and lessons for life.  Couldn't put it down, but was sad when it ended--only because it seemed so real!  Not sure whether this is Maria Goodin's first book, but I hope there are more soon!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2014

    Loved it!

    A wonderul book. Wish she had another.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Dallas

    K

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    /

    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Rick

    Stabs the thing in the head

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Drew

    Get away from us. We are all taken

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    H

    Yvhb
    <pb>
    Hhh

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Deer

    Hears Ciaro

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Jiselle

    She smiles slightly to herself

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Hot boobe cheerleader to ciaro

    SMACKS HIM HARD THAT MAKES HIM BLEED BI.T.CH

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Lloyed

    Anyone want to be my freind

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Elizia

    Waking in she looked at the trees. The were perfectly spaced and had long sturdy branches. This would do perfectly for a little chalenge. It would be just like the old days when she needed to steal things, food mostly. She smiled. The was the perfect time for a small training session. Sliping off her jacket so she could move around better she began her assent to the top of the tree infrount of her. She looked out over the trees and found what she was looking for, a tree taller than the rest. Grabing her watch from her shoulder bag she droped the so it fell down next to her jacket. As she fastened her watch to her wrist she began to talk. "Alright Zia, just like the old days. That tall tree is your goal. Get there with out touching the ground and under five minutes." After she set her watch she gave herself a minute to plan a path through the trees. "Remember, if you dont make it you dont get food." And with that she hit start. Right away she jumped down to the brach below her and again jumped lower to a branch the would hold her weight. Grabing the branch above her she swung over to the next tree. There she jumped down to a long branch. She took a moment to get her blance and ran for the end of the branch. Right before the wood ran out she threw her weight down and jumped useing the extra force to make it to the next branch she wanted. By now she was getting short of breath she but contiued on. She didnt dare check her watch. She was getting closer to forest floor now where the branches were wider and thicker. Useing another branch she swung over to a different tree. She manuvered around its trunk to a branch that was thin and quite as strong. Useing her same technique she jumped to grab a higer branch. She made the jump and before her hands slipped she pulled her self up onto it. This branch persented a challenge. The gap between her current branch and her target branch was to wide to get to with just a jump, and this branch was to thick to give her lift. She sucked in breath and moved back towards the tree trunk. She took a running start a jummped, fliping in mid air which was just enough to make it. She grined and contiued on. As she got higher she saw she was close to her goal but running out of time. She estimated she only had two minutes left and on top of that the trees were geting farther apart. When she was within twenty meters she grabed a branch to swing to another. As soon as it took her ful weight it snapped. She only just managed to grab the branch shed been on. Luckily she was able to recover and continue on. It was close now she could see it. All that it took was one more jump. She ran and jumped grabing a branch that came off another. She used her momentum from the jump to increase her swing to the next tree. As she flew she streached out and just barley grabed the branch she needed. She droped down to a lower branch and checked her watch. Shed made it with ninty seconds to spare. She let out a gasp of relife and droped down to sit on the branch. She only had a few scratches and her hands needed ontim<>_ent, but nothing serious. She brought ontim<>_ent with her in her bag. She leaned her head back and smiled feeling very happy.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    FOREST

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    FIVE STARS :a fib-iscious culinary delight I loved the beginnin

    FIVE STARS :a fib-iscious culinary delight

    I loved the beginning of the book:

    &quot; I came out a little underdone. Five more minutes and I would have been as big as the other children, my mother said. She blamed my pale complexion on her cravings for white bread (too much flour) and asked the doctor if I would have risen better had she done more exercise (too little air). The doctor wasn’t sure about this, but he was very concerned about the size of my feet. He suggested that next time my mother was pregnant she should try standing on her head or spinning in circles (spinning in circles on her head would be ideal) as this would aid the mixing process and result in a better proportioned baby.&quot;

    Meg's mom had an obsession with food which lead to the most outrageously funny fantasies about her daughter's first five years on this planet. At first I laughed, because the stories were so unbelievably creative and funny. I would not have minded to have a mother with an imagination like that all.

    But truth be told, I was seldom so touched by a book that I sat with a mouth full of teeth, not knowing what to say in reviewing a book. If I blurted out 'magnificent', I still would have to explain why, in which case it will become necessary to quote this entire book in the review!

    A 21-year old girl, Meg May, arrives home after earning a degree in science. She is coming home to take care of her dying mother. It is soon clear that mom's outrageous fibs and fiction hid a mystery about Meg's childhood that she was unable or unwilling to reveal to Meg. 

    &quot;Throughout her pregnancy my mother suffered all manner of complications. She was overcome by hot flushes several times a day which the midwife blamed on a faulty thermostat, and experienced such bad gas that a man from the local gas board had to come and give her a ten-point safety check. Her fingers swelled up like sausages so that every time she walked down the street the local dogs would chase her, snapping at her hands. She consumed a copious amount of eggs, not because she craved them, but because she was convinced the glaze would give me a nice golden glow. Instead, when the midwife slapped me on the back I clucked like a chicken.&quot;

    As a young girl, the world of fairies and talking animals only brought rejection from Meg's school friends, which left her lonely and growing up fending for herself in the harsh world of school and mean neighborhood kids. Now, as a grown-up scientist, she wants her mother to finally face reality and tell the truth and stop dodging her own story. Meg is convinced that people who believed in fiction and fantasy were gradually rotting their brains. Their fictional world was destroying them day by day, like a maggot eating away at their brains. Life has taught her that science is the only way to address the world and it's challenges. Science is her way of addressing life. It is the social home where she finally is accepted and respected.

    The gardener, Ewan, appears out of nowhere, starts talking to the trees, asks the frogs nicely to leave the garden and explains to snails why they are not welcome. Valerie, Meg's mom, finds a soulmate, which drives Meg to more antagonistic behaviour. But Meg has a few lessons to learn, of which the first one is that Ewan might sometimes have his head in the clouds, but his feet are firmly on the ground.

    When Meg finally discovers the truth behind her mom's fantasy world, she is devastated. As she meanders back into her mom's past, she slowly begins the walk on the road of healing and understanding. Forgiveness comes slowly and quietly. 

    It is the second mother-and-daughter book I read this year that had me in tears. First of longing and sadness, and then of joy. The biggest compliment a daughter can give her mother is to finally be able to say to her: &quot; I am everything you ever taught me, even when you thought I wasn’t listening.&quot; 

    My mom never had to tell me fairy tales like this. She did not have to rewrite my history for me like Meg's mom. This book shocked and shook me to my deepest core. This book is so multifaceted it is very hard to write a complete review on it without turning it into a dissertation! Apart from the delightful fibs and fantasy in the book, it also addresses a magnitude of emotions, perceptions, approaches and -isms that can enhance or destroy lives, depending on how we apply it to our own life stories. 

    I recommend it to all mothers and daughters alike; to fathers and brothers who always wanted to know what the real magic in fairy tales is all about. 

    I wanted to rate it five stars for excellent writing, originality and plot, but if it was possible, I would have added another five stars for the unbelievable emotional journey it invites the reader on. Nobody will walk away unscathed from this experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Recommended - I really enjoyed this book

    This is a charming book about a mother and daughter relationship as the mother is nearing the end of her life. I loved the way it was written and it was very emotional. I would easily recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Really 5 stars

    I loved this book. I will read it again and again. One of my favorites.

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  • Posted September 29, 2013

    A wonderfully written story.  The characters come alive.  I thor

    A wonderfully written story.  The characters come alive.  I thoroughly enjoyed, and I highly recommend.

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