An intoxicating novel about a woman who seduces an entire city with the exotic fare she creates in her home-run restaurant.
Best-selling cookbook author Carol Field turns her talent to fiction in Mangoes and Quince. A feast of the imagination, Mangoes and Quince tells the story of Miranda, abandoned in Amsterdam by her husband Anton, who disappeared into the South Seas. Marooned, but restlessly inspired, Miranda expresses her passion by cooking. But as the restaurant she builds in Anton's ancestral home grows increasingly popular-and along with it, Miranda-her daughter Diana recedes into a world of longing for her lost father.
Under the spell of a manipulative anthropologist, Diana sneaks into her father's two locked private rooms and unearths a trove of strange, local fetishes. Tucked within one sculpture, Diana finds a note from her father. . .
Part mystery, part love story, part family drama-and with original recipes scattered throughout- Mangoes and Quince is a lush and sensuous tale, sure to please.
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Carole Field is the author of In Nonna's Kitchen : Recipes and Traditions from Italy's Grandmothers, The Italian Baker, and Celebrating Italy. Ma ngoes and Quince is her first novel. She lives in San Francisco.
Best known for In Nonna's Kitchen and other books celebrating Italian cuisine, Field gives food and cooking an important role in her debut novel. That should come as no surprise. More unexpected are the novel's settings--Amsterdam and the East Indies, in the early '60s--and overcomplicated plot. Abandoned by her South Seas-besotted husband, Anton, and not knowing whether he is dead or alive, Miranda Peeters lives with her daughter, Diana, and Anton's mother in Anton's family home in Amsterdam. Having no income, Miranda turns the once-grand family home into a boardinghouse for men and becomes known for the meals she provides. When her mother-in-law dies, Miranda decides to open a small restaurant in the house. But first the question of who has title to the property must be settled, and an investigator is sent off to the Spice Islands in search of Anton; this investigation is important to 13-year-old Diana, because she misses her father deeply and suspects he could understand her in ways her mother cannot. Parsing all these complex relationships would have been challenge enough for many a skilled novelist. Field ups the ante considerably, adding subplots about East Indies artifacts and a painting hidden away in the house in Amsterdam. More problematically, she involves Anton in sexual rites that overwhelm the story, crowding out the more delicate moments she tries to dramatize. When Field turns to the opening of Miranda's restaurant (and the quince and apple tart served that night), her writing soars. Unfortunately, more often it sinks, as she fails to illuminate her characters. (Feb.)Forecast: Many a cookbook has been carved out of a popular novelist's literary oeuvre, but Field's attempt to swim in the opposite direction--from culinary to literary renown--will likely prove less successful, though foodies may take note if copies are stocked around the cookbook section of bookstores.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description New York, New York, U.S.A.: Bloomsbury Pub Plc USA, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition, first printing of author's first novel. A new, clean and tight, unmarked and unread book in a fine, clean and bright dust jacket. NO chips or tears. NOT price-clipped. NO remainder marks. NOT the book club edition. NOT an ex-library book. New/New. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1020740071
Book Description Bloomsbury USA, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1582341141
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97815823411491.0
Book Description Bloomsbury USA. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1582341141 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0776805