Comfort Food

Comfort Food

3.3 53
by Kate Jacobs
     
 

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A smart and deliciously funny novel by the bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club—and “readers will be cheering” (Bookreporter.com)...

Shortly before turning the big five-oh, Cooking with Gusto! TV personality Augusta “Gus” Simpson finds herself planning a birthday party she’d rather ignore—her

Overview

A smart and deliciously funny novel by the bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club—and “readers will be cheering” (Bookreporter.com)...

Shortly before turning the big five-oh, Cooking with Gusto! TV personality Augusta “Gus” Simpson finds herself planning a birthday party she’d rather ignore—her own. To make things worse, the network wants to boost her ratings by teaming Gus with the beautiful, ambitious, and younger Carmen Vega—the former Miss Spain, no less.

But Gus isn’t going without a fight—whether it’s off set with her two demanding daughters, on camera with the vicious beauty queen herself, or after hours with Oliver, the new culinary producer who’s raising Gus’s temperature beyond the comfort zone. Now, in pursuit of higher ratings and culinary delights, Gus might be able to rejuvenate more than just her career.

“Fresh, tasty Comfort Food goes down mighty easily…Kate Jacobs’s breezy follow-up to her bestselling The Friday Night Knitting Club is a satisfying read that showcases Jacobs’s skill in creating endearingly flawed characters…The kind of book you rush home to finish.” USA Today

“[A] warm and irresistible story...Highly recommended.”—Library Journal
“Jacobs has once again crafted a luxuriant yarn of a story…Comfort Food is good for the heart and the soul, serving up a rich pastiche of friendship and motherhood, with a savory side of romance, too.”—BookPage

“Real comfort food makes us feel safe and warm inside. It brings together family and friends by blending years, memories, and tastes. The novel Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs brings all these elements to the table.”—The Paper Palate

Editorial Reviews

"Gus Simpson adored birthday cake. Chocolate, coconut, lemon, strawberry, vanilla -- she had a particular fondness for the classics. Even though she experimented with new flavors and frostings, drizzlings with syrups and artfully arranging hibiscus petals. Gus more often took the retro route with piped-on flowers or a flash of candy sprinkles across the iced top. Because birthday cake was really about nostalgia, she knew, about reaching in and using the senses to remember one perfect childhood moment." The first words of Kate Jacobs's novel establish the power of food to evoke memories and bring people together. But Comfort Food isn't all sugary icing. As Cooking Channel star Augusta "Gus" Simpson contemplates her fast-approaching 50th birthday, she realizes that she faces scary risks in her plans to rejuvenate her life. A smoothly themed follow-up to The Friday Night Knitting Club.
Marie Claire
Without resorting to stereotypical personalities or over-the-top plot twists . . . Jacobs does something unexpected—she changes things up, and [Club] goes from being a good book to being a really great story.
Publishers Weekly

Jacobs follows The Friday Night Knitting Club with another multigenerational tale, this time on the foodie circuit. Popular Cooking with Gusto! host Augusta "Gus" Simpson, a widowed mother of two adult daughters who's about to turn 50, is tiring of her many obligations, which include throwing an annual birthday bash for herself. That trial pales, however, in comparison with the introduction of saucy former beauty queen and YouTube star Carmen Vega as Gus's cohost: Carmen is younger, hotter and very tight with the boss. It's soon apparent on the set that this new situation isn't working, so the two are packed off, along with a forgettable cast of secondaries, to a corporate team-building weekend, complete with New Age guide. When the resort's head chef calls in sick, a team-building opportunity presents itself. Jacobs gives Gus a reasonable love interest and provides the requisite bickering and backstabbing, but the foodie moments lack passion, and the results yield no stars. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Jacobs's cheery followup to the bestselling Friday Night Knitting Club(soon to be a feature film starring Julia Roberts) is another multigenerational tale with broad appeal, one tracking the personal and professional tribulations of a popular celebrity chef and her two twentysomething daughters. While the secondary story lines are at times a bit thin, Barbara Rosenblat's (www.barbararosenblat.com) ebullient narration and the string of happy endings make this a good choice for popular collections. [With tracks every three minutes for bookmarking; also recorded by Penguin Audio. 9 CDs. unabridged. 10 hrs. ISBN 9780143143161
—Beth Farrell

Kirkus Reviews
The lives and loves of a TV chef, her daughters, neighbor and associates all receive a makeover in this lighthearted but sometimes sagging romantic problem-solver. Jacobs (The Friday Night Knitting Club, 2007) turns to the subject of food on television. Widowed control-freak and mother of two Gus Simpson, approaching 50, has been a star of the CookingChannel for 12 years with her show Cooking with Gusto! But now, under pressure to improve her drooping ratings, she finds herself sharing a new program-Eat Drink and Be-filmed in her own kitchen, with pushy Carmen Vega, a ruthlessly ambitious ex-Miss Spain. Helping out on the live program are Gus's adult daughters Sabrina and Aimee, her neighbor Hannah (a reclusive journalist with a disgraced sporting past), one of Sabrina's ex-boyfriends and Oliver, the show's attractive producer. In a rather slack middle section, the story gets diverted down multiple paths, involving career, family, finance and relationships, while dodging from one mini-crisis or set piece to the next: a kitchen fire, a teambuilding weekend, a bride with extreme wedding nerves. But late in the day, Jacobs marshals her occasionally tepid characters, cuts back on the life philosophy, connects various predictable dots (and one or two less predictable ones) and delivers a slew of happy endings. Not quite as satisfying as the title would lead us to expect. Agent: Dorian Karchmar/William Morris Agency
From the Publisher
Praise for Knit the Season

“The spirit of the season permeates every page as the women knit their way through the family trials and tribulations of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, and an unforgettable wedding.” —USA Today

“Comforting, heartwarming…Curling up with a Friday Night Knitting Club novel is like visiting with old friends…This holiday entry is sure to please fans and leave them hungry for the next installment.” —Booklist

“More than a few craft-lovers will find this yarn under their tree.” —BookPage

“[Gives readers a] warm, fuzzy feeling.” —Family Circle

“Jacobs’s prose is pleasant, and she smoothly juggles all the story lines.” —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Knit Two

“Jacobs stitches together another winning tale…As comforting, enveloping, and warm as a well-crafted afghan.” —Publishers Weekly

“Fans [will] eagerly snuggle in to see how the friends piece together their knitting projects while finding solace in one another’s company.” —People

“As warming and cheering as visiting old friends.” —Booklist

“Fans of Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street series will find much to enjoy here.” —Library Journal

“Reflects the relationships among women in real life.” —The Omaha World-Herald

“For legions of readers awaiting a reunion with their friends from the bestselling novel The Friday Night Knitting Club...Kate Jacobs’s warmhearted sequel, Knit Two, is certain to be a cozy companion on a blustery winter night.” —BookPage

Praise for The Friday Night Knitting Club
#1 New York Times bestseller!

“If you are looking for an inviting group of gals to spend a few winter evenings with, pull up your afghan (you knitted it yourself, right?) and snuggle in...Reads like Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan.” —USA Today

“An absolutely beautiful, deeply moving portrait of female friendship. You’ll laugh and cry along with these characters.” —Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Its simplicity and soothing repetition leave room for conversation, laughter, revelations and friendship.” —Detroit Free-Press

“It’s all here—dating, love, motherhood, career, estrangement, death and, especially, friendships that span generations…[A] quick, fun, poignant yarn.” —The Seattle Times

“A Steel Magnolias for the twenty-first century.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Impossible to put down.” —Booklist

“Readers will come to root for nearly everyone.” —Concord (NH) Monitor

“[The Friday Night Knitting Club] evolves into an unbreakable sisterhood as the characters learn from each other’s differences and bond over their love of knitting.” —Vogue Knitting

“It’s easy to forget that the characters aren’t your friends…But before you realize your emotional vulnerability, Jacobs does something unexpected—she changes things up, and it goes from being a good book to being a really great story.” —Marie Claire

“An urban counterpart to How to Make an American Quilt.” —New Statesman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425226209
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/07/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
270,519
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for Knit the Season

“The spirit of the season permeates every page as the women knit their way through the family trials and tribulations of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, and an unforgettable wedding.” —USA Today

“Comforting, heartwarming…Curling up with a Friday Night Knitting Club novel is like visiting with old friends…This holiday entry is sure to please fans and leave them hungry for the next installment.” —Booklist

“More than a few craft-lovers will find this yarn under their tree.” —BookPage

“[Gives readers a] warm, fuzzy feeling.” —Family Circle

“Jacobs’s prose is pleasant, and she smoothly juggles all the story lines.” —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Knit Two

“Jacobs stitches together another winning tale…As comforting, enveloping, and warm as a well-crafted afghan.” —Publishers Weekly

“Fans [will] eagerly snuggle in to see how the friends piece together their knitting projects while finding solace in one another’s company.” —People

“As warming and cheering as visiting old friends.” —Booklist

“Fans of Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street series will find much to enjoy here.” —Library Journal

“Reflects the relationships among women in real life.” —The Omaha World-Herald

“For legions of readers awaiting a reunion with their friends from the bestselling novel The Friday Night Knitting Club...Kate Jacobs’s warmhearted sequel, Knit Two, is certain to be a cozy companion on a blustery winter night.” —BookPage

Praise for The Friday Night Knitting Club
#1 New York Times bestseller!

“If you are looking for an inviting group of gals to spend a few winter evenings with, pull up your afghan (you knitted it yourself, right?) and snuggle in...Reads like Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan.” —USA Today

“An absolutely beautiful, deeply moving portrait of female friendship. You’ll laugh and cry along with these characters.” —Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Its simplicity and soothing repetition leave room for conversation, laughter, revelations and friendship.” —Detroit Free-Press

“It’s all here—dating, love, motherhood, career, estrangement, death and, especially, friendships that span generations…[A] quick, fun, poignant yarn.” —The Seattle Times

“A Steel Magnolias for the twenty-first century.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Impossible to put down.” —Booklist

“Readers will come to root for nearly everyone.” —Concord (NH) Monitor

“[The Friday Night Knitting Club] evolves into an unbreakable sisterhood as the characters learn from each other’s differences and bond over their love of knitting.” —Vogue Knitting

“It’s easy to forget that the characters aren’t your friends…But before you realize your emotional vulnerability, Jacobs does something unexpected—she changes things up, and it goes from being a good book to being a really great story.” —Marie Claire

“An urban counterpart to How to Make an American Quilt.” —New Statesman

Meet the Author

Kate Jacobs is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Friday Night Knitting Club, Knit Two, Knit the Season, and Comfort Food. A former magazine writer and editor, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

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Comfort Food 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading The Friday Night Knitting Club and loving it, I had to read this one also. I waited a long time for this one at my library and then 'pulled the bookmark' after 60 pages. Gus was 50? I felt like she was more like 70 in her demeanor and the way she dressed. It was boring and poorly written in my opinion. If she's writing another one I hope it'll be a big improvement over this one. This is why I don't buy books and why I borrow them from the library -- so I can return them and not feel guilty that I didn't finish a book.
MHH66 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Kate Jacobs and this was my 3rd book from her. This book had a Julia Child like character mixed with Martha Stewart. The book is an easy read, was fun and entertaining. I LOVED reading this and would recommend it to anyone. This is a great rainy day story and I hope Kate writes more like this.
bravewarrior More than 1 year ago
CD/Unabridged: This is my first Kate Jacobs book and it was fun. It's about a woman who just turned 50 and is the perky host of a cable cooking show. Think Paula Dean, only thinner. She is a widow with two daughters when her professional life falls apart. Her show is in jeopardy of getting the boot when a Spanish internet host joins her show: think Penelope Cruz. There is a wide cast of characters including the bald, handsome producer, disgraced ex-tennis player neighbor, daughter's boyfriend still in the picture, and group counselor. I found most of the book enjoyable with the right amount of drama and tension mixed with comedy and lilt. The best part is Oliver stuck in the elevator by himself. The narrator, Barbara Rosenblat, does a great job with the different voices and accents. I had to slow down my listening because I didn't want it to end. I do recommend this and a good summertime read.
bookgirl411 More than 1 year ago
On the cusp of 50, Gus Simpson, a celebrated Food Network host, is about to ¿reinvent¿ herself, much to her dismay. Her cooking show ratings are dropping and the new producer decides to take the show in a different direction, spice it up a bit, with the diva of all diva cooks, Carmen Vega. Carmen, is a former Miss Spain and tends to forget she¿s in America, and Americans don¿t care that she was Miss Spain. Oh, but they¿ll never forget, if Carmen has anything to do with it.
Gus, accidentally brings her entire extended family, people who¿s paths otherwise would never have crossed, onto a filming of the new show and viewers love it. This unlikely pack of friends and family come together, in a hilarious comedy of errors, making the show a hit and giving Gus the second wind she needs for the second half of her life.

I made the mistake of absolutely loving Kate Jacobs first novel, The Friday Night Knitting Club, and having high expectations for this second novel. In the end it did not disappoint, however, it took a good 100 pages to grab my interest and persuade me to keep going, hoping it would get better; and indeed it did. However, I was getting a little worried. In the end this was a delightful book with a wonderful unexpected ending. The characters where folks next door and from each of our own lives. People we know, have known or could be ourselves. Please pick up this book and have a wonderful read.
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I have read Ms Jacobs' other works and find them moving from fun and entertaining to something that seems to have been written quickly for a sitcom. I really did enjoy Friday Night Knitting Club.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story that celebrates food and freindship. What more can I say? A fabulous book from the author of Friday Night Knitting Club makes for great book club material. Interesting characters with lots of dilemmas to dish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fab, Fab fab. Fun and Funny. Playful and addictive.
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Cheshire56 More than 1 year ago
Ms. Jacobs characters are so delightful and real. You feel like you're right on the set of Gus kitchen. The food that is prepared sounds delicious and easy to prepare. This book would make a pleasant holiday take along. You should read The Friday Night Knitting Club for certain. I plan to purchase Knit Two on my next foray.
momoftwinsMM More than 1 year ago
I actually enjoyed the characters in this novel better than the ones in the Friday Night Knitting Club. Kate Jacobs creates characters who are loveable and I was rooting for them the whole way. I loved that the happy endings were not the expected endings and that characters were really developed throughout. The plot itself was slightly harried, and I found the idea of the jumbled up mess of a cooking show slightly unbelievable. However, if you look at the cooking channel today...this might be the norm!
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