Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life From Scratch by Melissa Ford

Genre: General Fiction
Copyright: Dec 2010
Pages: 214
Book Source: Review copy courtesy of Bell Bridge Books

Her life's a mess. And so is her kitchen.

Divorced, heartbroken and living in a lonely New York apartment with a tiny kitchen, Rachel Goldman realizes she doesn't even know how to cook the simplest meal for herself. Can learning to fry an egg help her understand where her life went wrong? She dives into the culinary basics. Then she launches a blog to vent her misery about life, love and her goal of an unburnt casserole. To her amazement, the blog's a hit. She becomes a minor celebrity.

Next, a sexy Spaniard enters her life. Will her souffl├ęs stop falling? Will she finally forget about the husband she still loves? And how can she explain to her readers that she still hasn't learned how to cook up a happy life from scratch?

Life From Scratch blogging about life ... one scrambled egg at a time was such an entertaining read, it's a coming of age story, even if that happens to be at the ripe old age of 34, it's about finding your voice and learning to use it. 

... starting the blog was like the first breath of air after breaking the water's surface while swimming. The words came out fast and furious; I had finally found my voice again, that old friend who had disappeared over the years from disuse.
Blogging can seem a little self-indulgent; foisting your free therapy on everyone else in the world. But some of us can't afford a vacation from life and therapy, so free isnt half bad. Plus the night I got my first comment was like finding life on Mars.

Rachel Goldman doesn't have a clue about cooking, she can barely toast a muffin, but in her quest to learn she finds a "new found love of butter" and herself. Rachel was so easy to identify with; the whole divorced, blogging, venting online, 'finding yourself' premise certainly appealed to me and of course anyone who blogs knows that comments let you know that you're not just singing in the wind. But if that doesn't sound like your usual cup of tea please don't be put off. Ford's writing style is authentic, captivating and amusing, a most enjoyable combination.

I thoroughly recommend Life From Scratch and I can't wait to see what's in store for the characters in the sequel. Now I just can't resist leaving you with this excerpt.

... didn't I once say that the point of this year was to get myself an entirely new life? I learned to cook for the first time in thirty-four years. I'm writing a successful blog and working on a book. I kill my own spiders. Isn't having sex with an uncircumcised penis the last great frontier I need to conquer?

About the Author: An amateur chef and popular blogger herself, Melissa Ford is the author of the award-winning website, Stirrup Queens.  Her highly-praised first book, Navigating the Land of If, is a work of non-fiction about the emotional landscape of infertility. She is currently at work on the sequel to Life From Scratch.

Visit Melissa Ford's website to find out more about this author and her work.

This month on The Eclectic Reader 2 readers will win a copy of Delirium by Lauren Oliver or The Tudor Secret by C W Gortner, or Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. Check this blog post for details. Open Internationally.


  1. OK, so now I know where I went wrong, I never learned how to fry an egg. Do you think there's time at 61 to go beck and start again?

  2. This is a new to me book and author. It sounds like a fun read, thanks! I'm going to her website to check it out.

  3. This sounds like a fun book - thanks for the review. When I first started reading the summary, it sounded a little like the premise of Julie and Julia - did you think so?

  4. I kind of like it :)
    Hope she learns how to cook, but even good cooks can be bad some days (bf burnt the popcorn, and then something in the microwave, lol)

  5. Annie ~ never, ever too old to start again or learn something new lol ... go for it!!

  6. Booksync ~ I've seen the comparisons to Julia and Julia mentioned but I felt it was more a 'finding yourself' story with focus on blogging and cooking basics. I've read Julia and Julia and seen the movie and I found this quite different; the humour was similar though.

  7. This one sounds adorable and fun!!!

  8. Blodeuedd ~ I've had my share of kitchen disasters lately, the very last one was an exploding quiche lol

  9. What a fun review! I havent heard of this book or the autor, I think Ill have to check it out...:)

  10. This book sounds great and like another one to add to my list. I think as bloggers we can all relate to finding our voice.

  11. I love the quote. Whwn I first started blogging, I felt the same :)

    It sounds like a fun book!

  12. "Blogging can seem a little self-indulgent; foisting your free therapy on everyone else in the world. But some of us can't afford a vacation from life and therapy, so free isnt half bad. Plus the night I got my first comment was like finding life on Mars."

    Oh, how I love that quote! I surely echo my feelings when I first start blogging and believe it or not, still is one year after! Sounds like a must read to me and I am very determine to hunt it.

  13. This looks fun! And I'm still trying to find myself at 39!

  14. I really enjoyed this one, too, and related to it so much for its insights into blogging and cooking! Very entertaining.

  15. this one sounds like a great read...
    It's not in the market yet right???


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