“Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradal

★★★★★ (Though I wish I had more stars to give.)

Kitchens of the Great MidwestI read Kitchens of the Great Midwest over a month ago, and I’m still having a hard time coming up with how to describe it and how it made me feel. This book was breathtaking. Perhaps more so since I was born and raised and still live in the midwest, where food is such an important part of life and family traditions. However, I believe that all readers can relate to this unforgettable story. If there’s one thing you take from my review, know that what I write could never do this book justice.

Each chapter of the book is the name of a dish that presents itself in the story, which follows the life of Eva Thorvald from before birth to adulthood. What makes the story unique is that it is told from different perspectives — her dad, mom, a crush in school, her cousin, and more — all get to tell their stories about Eva (some direct, some she just appears in) through their eyes. Through her life, she faces so many of life’s cruelest challenges to achieve her lifelong goal of becoming a chef.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest is easily my favorite book of the year. It was heartbreaking, breathtaking, and written so well that I never wanted it to end.

Purchase the book here.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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