Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Jenny Shortridge - Eating Heaven

Nothing gets Eleanor Samuels’s heart racing like a double scoop of mocha fudge chunk. Sure, the magazine writer may have some issues aside from food, but she isn’t quite ready to face them. Then her beloved uncle Benny falls ill, and Eleanor’s whole world is torn apart. Unlike her sisters, she has neither a husband nor a full-time job, so it’s up to Eleanor to care for her ailing uncle. What at first seems scary and daunting becomes a blessing in disguise. Because while she’s doing all that cooking and nurturing—and enjoying a delicious flirtation with a new chef in town—Eleanor begins to uncover some long-buried secrets about her emotionally frayed family and may finally get the chance to become the woman she’s always wanted to be…

Comment: I got this book months ago after seeing it in a list of similar things to another book I was interested in at the time. This sounded interesting and I hoped for some romance included, so I got it.

This is the story of Eleanor Samuels, a freelance writer who specialized on food articles for magazines.Eleanor has a pretty routine life and she feels bad about her body but she is forced to change when her uncle Benny becomes ill ans she will be his caregiver. Eleanor isn't ready to accept he might be too sick and she doesn't know what it means to care for someone the way he needs and juggling that with her job and the changes in her always more successful sisters can be too much for Eleanor. Or will she win the battle against the odds?

I liked this book a lot. Sure, it's not the best book ever, but several details about it made sense to me and made me like it.
What made this book so successful, in my POV, was the heroine. I could understand and relate to her in many situations. Plus, the way the author wrote about the main subject, what it means to take care about someone and how that can change you, that spoke to me as well.

Eleanor is a heroine without much of the charm most heroines have. She is described in a way that many real life women could relate to. She works but it's not completely fulfilling. She never married and her self image isn't as perfect or slim as she would like. She struggles to be what others think of her and while realistically thinking she knows that, a part of her fights her enjoyment of food too much, making her a conflicted person. Plus, she feels alone and unloved by her mother, forgotten by sisters and has no luck in love. he has everything to look like a poor heroine we all should feel sorry for but the truth is she is a heroine who thinks and acts according to what is right. I liked for that alone but when the problems came...

One of the main issues of this book is how Eleanor decides to take care of her uncle although she never did something of the kind before. Many people can assume it's easy, it's all about control and talk the right way but caring for someone who's in need or who can do it themselves isn't easy. I related a lot to this because I've worked as a caregiver once and it takes a toll on you emotionally, even if physically not so much. The pages dedicated to this issue aren't that many but are certainly enough to give us that idea and let me tell you, it's not easy, not at all. I actually think the author has showed only a small part of what it means, emotionally, to be a carer. 

There is a very heavy part of the book dedicated to feelings, meaning, we learn of several things, plot related, that we can only go through the eyes of the heroine and those things are difficult to deal with. The human heart and brain make us deal with things in a complicated manner most of the time. I really felt for Eleanor when she struggled to act or to process the things she learned with time. I also felt angry some people can have so much power over us and out feelings. It may look cheesy but in our RL things are the same way.

There's a sort of HEA in this book. I wish it could be better presented or not as subtle because every hard decision or thing deserves a shiny moment too, to make us dream about happiness. I wish the author would have given us a more obvious HEA.
I've cried a lot while reading this book but I think this really worked out for me. Many of the details and information and how it was presented made me feel glad I was reading this.
There are many references to food and eating too, so maybe our appetite can enjoy this book as well. But I liked it that it wasn't excessive.
All in all, a good book for me.
Grade: 9/10

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