Title: The Little French Recipe Book
Author: Jacky Durand
Publisher: Hodder& Stoughton
Ebook publication date: 16 April 2020
Number of pages: 176 pages
For thirty years, Julien has lived with the question as to why his mother, Helene, suddenly walked out on him and his father – and why his father Henri refused to ever speak of her again.
Now, as he sits by his father’s bedside preparing to say goodbye, Julien remembers his father’s long-lost notebook: a gift from Helene in which he jealously kept the recipes that made him the renowned chef of the Relais Fleuri restaurant.
Julien is determined to find this last link to the father he so fiercely loves, and the mother he has never forgotten. But can the secrets to his father’s cooking finally help him understand the other secrets Henri has kept all these years?
Rich, scrumptious, bittersweet, The Little French Recipe Book is a wonderful novel dipped in a mix of nostalgia, love, and secrets.
Julien’s mother walked out of his life when he was a child. He has always lived with his father, watching him prepare dishes like a magician performs his best tricks. With organic ingredients, Julien’s father turns everything he has in hands into delicious meals. Well, the author does exactly the same. Jacky Durant’s love for France and gastronomy oozes from the pages, as strong as the wafts coming from a well-loved and well-used kitchen. My nose was filled with the best scents holding promises for the palate and the mind. My heart was full of emotion as I was watching Julien and his father follow a gap-filled recipe, neither of them knowing how to reach the other. Julien is keen on following his father’s steps and master the kitchen magic, but the older man has other plans and wishes for his son a good education and life.
Before leaving them, Julien’s mother had convinced his father to put his recipes in a notebook. She had filled it with his fantastic knowledge, and Julien now wants this precious book, his last link to his beloved dying father. This is why he decides to walk down memory lane and unfolds the knots of his past, hoping to find answers and solace in a lifetime of memories. His discoveries moved me to the core. The author’s simple but outstandingly writing got my taste buds working and my eyes well up. The bond between father and son, despite the difference in generation and all that it entails. Julien’s father is not a man of words, but his actions speak a thousand words. I am thankful I got to share their stories.
The Little French Recipe Book is a flavorful ode to family love and lost moments, to friendships, childhood, and secrets kept with the best intentions. I loved every page. I tasted every feeling with all my senses. I highly recommend this profoundly moving tale to everyone.
You can find the ebook now: Amazon
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC. This review is my unbiased opinion.