Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs

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Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Top class fiction for women doesn't come much better than this. It's well-written with characters you engage with it comes highly recommended by The Bookbag.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 428 Date: June 2008
Publisher: Hodder Paperback
ISBN: 978-0340922200

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There is a moment when every woman looks in the mirror and knows that she is no longer young. For Gus Simpson it came just before her fiftieth birthday and it was something of a relief when various difficulties meant that she was unable to organise her own birthday party. For twelve years she had been the host of her own cookery programme on the CookingChannel but budgets were being slashed and fewer programmes ordered. Add to this all the career challenges and romantic dilemmas assaulting her family and friends and it's no wonder that party just never happened.

Some weekends all you want to do is curl up with a book and let the world go on its way without you and that's just what I did last weekend. I opened Comfort Food on Saturday afternoon and finally closed it with a contented sigh on Sunday evening. In the meantime I'd been completely taken over by Gus, her family and friends. I don't normally enjoy stories about fictional celebrities, and certainly not if they're American, but there was something about Gus which appealed to me.

When she became a widow with two young daughters to provide for she did what she knew best: she made and served good food and it was only a chance meeting with the head of the CookingChannel which propelled her into television. Good looking but unthreatening and homely Gus Simpson was what every woman wanted to be. One woman wanted to take her place. Carmen Vega, the Spanish beauty queen turned television cook wanted her own series and neither she nor Gus was particularly pleased when they found themselves co-hosting a series.

Gus is easy to love. The tetchy Hannah from next door – a tennis star with a sullied past – isn't quite so easy, but she and Gus make a great contrast. It would have been easy to make Gus' daughters – now twenty five and twenty seven – the spoilt brats of the media world, but they're normal girls doing their best to cope with the fact that their mother is a celebrity. Things don't always work out for them –or their boyfriends, but then life's like that.

There's a little romance in the book, but it's not a story where a woman is not complete if she hasn't got her man. It's a story about values and what's important in life and it's definitely not money or romance. Don't read this book if you're on a diet as there's some seriously good food in there and I found myself raiding the biscuit tin on a couple of occasions. The book will probably appeal to women more than men, but it's not chick-lit by any stretch of the imagination. I'd put it in the same class as Hearts and Minds by Rosy Thornton and it's definitely recommended.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy along to The Bookbag.

If you really are worried about starting to look older then you ought to have a look at I Feel Bad About My Neck. You won't look any younger at the end of it, but you will have laughed.

Buy Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs at

Buy Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs at


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