Penned by twins who've paid their dues in the restaurant biz, this whip-smart debut chronicles a brief slice of the life of Erin Edwards, a marketing manager who loses her job and cashes in family favors to snag a wait-staff position at Roulette, a top-flight New York City restaurant. Erin, devoid of waitressing experience, has a disastrous first day and comes under the scrutiny of Steve, the restaurant's grouchy owner, and chef Carl, who's as charming as he is terrifying. Luckily for Erin, seasoned waiter Cato Poole offers to mentor her. With Cato's help and friendship, Erin learns the ropes. Though Steve and Carl make it clear that they've got their eye on her, Erin manages to canoodle with a co-worker and a powerful television producer customer. This page-turner reads like recent restaurant-linked memoirs, with accounts of unrealistic expectations, slippery tactics, critic- and rival-driven anxieties and general kitchen mayhem. Chick lit standards like gossipy scenes with the best friend are mercifully short, and though the novel ends on a cheesy note, the rest of the ride is tons of fun, especially for those who've done time in the service industry. (Mar.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The authors, identical twins, have drawn on their joint experiences waiting tables to write a novel about the struggles of one waitress to make it in an upscale Manhattan restaurant. After losing her job at a marketing firm, Erin goes to work waiting tables at Roulette. She knows nothing about the intimidating restaurant business, but sheer determination and a little help from her friends get her through the harrowing ordeal of managing difficult customers, dealing with an ornery chef, and just trying to stay upright. Erin struggles with not only the job for which she is completely unqualified, but also a blooming relationship with Daniel, one of Roulette's customers. The novel touts a rather out-of-date message, that you are not your job and that you can date anyone you want, even if you're just a waitress. Often painful and sometimes funny, it will appeal to readers of Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic" series and other chick-lit tales of New York singles. Recommended for large popular fiction collections.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Twins Heather and Rose pair up in a spirited debut novel about a down-and-out New Yorker who takes a job waiting tables at one of the city's best restaurants. Erin Edwards was a marketing executive on the rise-until she was fired. Her rent money quickly drying up, her father uses his connections to secure her a waitressing job at Roulette, a Manhattan hot spot where terrifying chef Carl Corbett reigns supreme. A co-worker, Cato, gives Erin a crash course in upscale waitressing, but both Carl and the restaurant's owner do everything they can to get her to quit, including saddling her in a harness to dust the chandelier and making her stay late to clean the kitchen of chicken blood. Erin is a rather boring protagonist, but other, outrageous characters, like Cato, an out-of-work gay actor, and Gina, the owner's wife, who races through the pages screaming in Italian-accented English, add life to the story. Despite constant abuse and the fact that her skills improve only minimally, Erin refuses to quit. Things turn steamy during a brief love affair with a handsome line cook, and grow complicated when Erin finds herself falling for a wealthy-and unavailable-patron. This love story, and other scenes that take place outside of Roulette, are a snooze, but the action within the restaurant is worthwhile. Descriptions of fickle diners and mouthwatering dishes balance out the sitcom-like dialogue and certain ridiculous plot points, such as Erin's foray into the world of pet adoption. The setting sparkles, but the writing does not. Agent: Kim Witherspoon/Inkwell Management
“Turning Tables is tons of fun! Heather and Rose MacDowell’s twin voices blend seamlessly to create a delectable fusion of humor, heart, hope and keen observation—peppered liberally with some great waitress horror stories.” –Claire Cook, author of Life's a Beach and Must Love Dogs
"Turning Tables is like a top chef's tasting menu, offering one delight after another with plenty of delicious surprises along the way."—Claire LaZebnik, author of Knitting Under the Influence and Same as it Never Was
"Heather and Rose MacDowell's debut novel, Turning Tables, is a hilarious read which rings true. It's the perfect book for anyone who's ever been forced to take orders..." —Leanne Shear and Tracey Toomey, authors of The Perfect Manhattan and Cocktail Therapy
“A spirited debut…. The setting sparkles.”—Kirkus Reviews
“This page-turner ... is tons of fun, especially for those who've done time in the service industry.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Turning Tables is full of factual insights for curious foodies.”—Sacramento Bee
“A hilarious read that rings true. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s ever been forced to take orders.” —Leanne Shear and Tracey Toomey, authors of Lipstick Therapy
“Entertaining . . . ought to be required reading for restaurant reviewers and lousy tippers.” —Boston Globe