After her father moves to a condo and marries a younger woman, 13-year-old Evie fills the void by cooking. When her dad went, he took the dog and all traces of their family with him, leaving Evie and her mom to "fit into all those empty corners of the house." Evie's dad writes cookbooks and hosts a food-channel show, so cooking is the "little piece of him" she can keep. As she worries about her mother, who's starting to date, her new stepmother, who's pregnant with twins, and her elderly neighbor, whose cat has died, Evie therapeutically bakes soufflÃ©s, brownies and biscuits. In a summer cooking class taught by an ex-hippie, Evie discovers that if she follows the right recipe, life will work out. Evie tells her story with a pinch of humor and a dash of vulnerability, sifting together the people in her life and blending them into a surprising new family. The cooking motif cleverly extends throughout with quotes from famous chefs, Evie's recipes and culinary spot art. Sweet and savory. (bibliography of kitchen wisdom) (Fiction. 8-12)Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Gr 4-6--Thirteen-year old Evie Carson loves to cook, which is fitting for the daughter of a renowned celebrity chef. Now that her parents have divorced and her father is living with his new wife on the other side of town, Evie spends a lot of time in the kitchen, and her mom has even signed her up for summer cooking classes at the rec center. It's been a year since her dad moved out and took their dog with him, but now there are twins on the way, her stepmother is trying to be her friend, and her mother is going on her first date since the divorce, so Evie is feeling just a little bit out of sorts. Although she and her mom have finally begun to fill the empty places left by her father's departure, it takes a crotchety neighbor, a handsome cooking partner, some rescued animals, and a lot of recipes to make the future seem as inviting as the past. Each chapter is headed by a quote from a celebrity chef that portends the events to come and concludes with a recipe for whatever Evie is preparing. Spot illustrations appear throughout. This is an appealing book with an authentic voice, particularly when discussing the upheaval and discomfort caused by divorce, as well as the effort and good will required to smooth the transition.--Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library[Page 108]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.