Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Hardback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Who is Eva Thorvald? To her single father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life.

To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon.

To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat.

She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can put their finger on.

Eva will surprise everyone. On the day before her eleventh birthday, she's cultivating chilli peppers in her wardrobe like a pro.

Abandoned by her mother, gangly and poor, Eva arms herself with the weapons of her unknown heritage: a kick-ass palate and a passion bordering on obsession.

Over the years, her tastes grow, and so do her ambitions.

One day Eva will be the greatest chef in the world. But along the way, the people she meets will shape her - and she, them - in ways unforgettable, riotous and profound.

So she - for one - knows exactly who she is by the time her mother returns. Kitchens of the Great Midwest is about the family you lose, the friends you make and chance connections that can define a life. Joyful, quirky or brazen, everyone lends their voice to tell Eva's story - one that's as heartwarming as it is irresistible, taking the bitter with the sweet.




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This book was on my radar because I enjoy books with a foody theme. In Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Eva Thorvald is the main character and yet she features very little in the book. It's an interesting plot device as Eva is, essentially, the link that brings together a series of stories. We start the book when Eva is a baby and is introduced to food by her father, Lars, and move through her life via people who come into contact with her, such as her cousin, her boyfriend's brother etc.I started this book not feeling at all sure it was going to be my kind of thing but then I got drawn into it and ended up loving it. I wished at the end that I had paid a little more attention to who everybody was as the final chapter is a bit of a masterpiece of plotting. Although I was always looking for Eva in each chapter, I got pulled into each individual story to the point where it was hard then to move onto the next. I thought this was a great book.