A complimentary advanced reader copy of this book was provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. (Thank you!) My review was in no way influenced by this consideration.
For months, now, I’ve been on the lookout for a good, clean, read I can recommend wholeheartedly for a book group. This, friends, is it!
When I came across the ARC for From the Kitchen of Half Truth, it was called Nutmeg, which I found charming. I’m not sure what’s up with the wordy title change, but don’t let that put you off from this delightful, kitchy, lovely little novel.
Meg, or “Nutmeg,” is a young woman who returns home to visit her mother, only to discover that she’s not quite well, and needs some help. She decides to stay, and while she’s there, see if she can learn some truths about herself. Meg’s grown up with a life story that makes no real sense at all–all of her childhood stories are clearly fairy tales, conjured up out of her mother’s wild and slightly silly imagination. Meg, herself, is a scientist with a promising career in genetic research, and has reached a point in her life when she simply has no more patience for her mother’s flights of fancy, particularly when it comes to her own past. The two seem at cross purposes, but Meg’s search for the truth about her history ends up revealing all kinds of things about her relationship with her mother, and others around her.
I can’t say enough lovely things about this novel. The writing is not technically perfect, but it’s close–nothing about it is distracting enough to draw readers away from the charming tale Goodin weaves. The story could, on first description, sound superficial, but I was impressed by Goodin’s ability to dig deep and draw out some real, raw emotions in her characters and me, as her reader. I admit to being a little confused by where things were going during the first bit of the novel, but not so much as to be put off–it’s clear that Goodin’s taking us somewhere, and trying to get us to understand the slightly off-kilter reality in which her main characters live. Things start to come together before too long, and the convention is effective.
In all, this is a delightful little novel, and I was thrilled to have had the chance to read it. Completely clean. 4 stars.