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Tutti a Blue Crab Island, nel Maine, chiamavano Camilla la dea dell'amore perché, con il suo talento di veggente era riuscita a salvare matrimoni in crisi. Ma Camilla non era solo un'indovina, era soprattutto una bravissima cuoca, amante della cucina italiana e delle sue specialità. Agli studenti della sua scuola di cucina suggeriva di aggiungere sempre nella pentola un in Tutti a Blue Crab Island, nel Maine, chiamavano Camilla la dea dell'amore perché, con il suo talento di veggente era riuscita a salvare matrimoni in crisi. Ma Camilla non era solo un'indovina, era soprattutto una bravissima cuoca, amante della cucina italiana e delle sue specialità. Agli studenti della sua scuola di cucina suggeriva di aggiungere sempre nella pentola un ingrediente segreto: un ricordo triste, un pensiero felice, un fervido desiderio. Questo rendeva uniche le ricette e faceva sì che si realizzassero le speranze di chi le eseguiva. Holly, sua nipote, aspetta da anni l'uomo giusto: al suo vero grande amore, le ha predetto la nonna, piacerà un piatto particolare dal sapore molto intenso... La ricerca diventa sempre più complicata e Holly sembra destinata alla solitudine. Quando però eredita la scuola di cucina di Camilla e il suo ricettario, Holly impara come trovare la propria strada. Scoprirà che gli ingredienti essenziali della vita sono in realtà costituiti da un intreccio di trame: ricordi, sogni e speranze si legano a formare il romanzo della vita di ognuno dandoci la possibilità di scoprire la vera ricetta della felicità che si nasconde in noi.


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Tutti a Blue Crab Island, nel Maine, chiamavano Camilla la dea dell'amore perché, con il suo talento di veggente era riuscita a salvare matrimoni in crisi. Ma Camilla non era solo un'indovina, era soprattutto una bravissima cuoca, amante della cucina italiana e delle sue specialità. Agli studenti della sua scuola di cucina suggeriva di aggiungere sempre nella pentola un in Tutti a Blue Crab Island, nel Maine, chiamavano Camilla la dea dell'amore perché, con il suo talento di veggente era riuscita a salvare matrimoni in crisi. Ma Camilla non era solo un'indovina, era soprattutto una bravissima cuoca, amante della cucina italiana e delle sue specialità. Agli studenti della sua scuola di cucina suggeriva di aggiungere sempre nella pentola un ingrediente segreto: un ricordo triste, un pensiero felice, un fervido desiderio. Questo rendeva uniche le ricette e faceva sì che si realizzassero le speranze di chi le eseguiva. Holly, sua nipote, aspetta da anni l'uomo giusto: al suo vero grande amore, le ha predetto la nonna, piacerà un piatto particolare dal sapore molto intenso... La ricerca diventa sempre più complicata e Holly sembra destinata alla solitudine. Quando però eredita la scuola di cucina di Camilla e il suo ricettario, Holly impara come trovare la propria strada. Scoprirà che gli ingredienti essenziali della vita sono in realtà costituiti da un intreccio di trame: ricordi, sogni e speranze si legano a formare il romanzo della vita di ognuno dandoci la possibilità di scoprire la vera ricetta della felicità che si nasconde in noi.

30 review for The Love Goddess' Cooking School

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darth J

    I read this a few years ago and I guess this is like the Hallmark Channel version of Practical Magic (the movie version, not the book). That is to say that it has elements of magical realism and cooking but there's something too soft, too milquetoast about it. Everything seems to wrap up too neatly in the end, and despite being about cooking none on the characters have much flavor to them. The "magic" here comes from coincidences and the grandmother's fortune telling stones, but again it was rea I read this a few years ago and I guess this is like the Hallmark Channel version of Practical Magic (the movie version, not the book). That is to say that it has elements of magical realism and cooking but there's something too soft, too milquetoast about it. Everything seems to wrap up too neatly in the end, and despite being about cooking none on the characters have much flavor to them. The "magic" here comes from coincidences and the grandmother's fortune telling stones, but again it was really lacking in that department as well. ^This is sa cordula, the big hubbub of this book. It was foretold the person who enjoys it will love the MC because it's disgusting. From what I remember, there's some inadvertent hijinks that ensue that lead to the male lead eating it. I'd say *spoiler alert* but you see it coming from a mile away.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    There is a genre of books where a group of people (usually women with one lone guy thrown into the mix) gather together in some sort of club or class (knitting, quilting, Jane Austen books or in this case, cooking) and by the end of the book, they have formed close friendships and had a major problem in their lives resolved through the magic of whatever interest had drawn them together in the first place. Sometimes, this genre can produce a good book or even a good series of books (for example - There is a genre of books where a group of people (usually women with one lone guy thrown into the mix) gather together in some sort of club or class (knitting, quilting, Jane Austen books or in this case, cooking) and by the end of the book, they have formed close friendships and had a major problem in their lives resolved through the magic of whatever interest had drawn them together in the first place. Sometimes, this genre can produce a good book or even a good series of books (for example - The Elm Creek Quilt series). And sometimes, it can result in books that are a little cotton candy-ish. By that I mean, they are light, fluffy, fun to consume but really don’t have much substance. The Love Goddess’ Cooking School is one of the better examples of the genre. It sort of reminded me of the Friday Night Knitting Club meets the Under the Tuscan Sun (more the film version than the book itself but still) with little hints of Laura Esquivel or Joanne Harris thrown in for flavor. While it does end in the typical “everything-worked-out and everyone-is-perfectly-matched-up-and-happy” sort of way, it doesn’t cut corners getting there. The characters and the plotlines felt honest and realistic. And while The Love Goddess’ Cooking School will never be considered great literature, it was a fun, easy-going and satisfying read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I always have a hard time reading romances because they tend to be plot driven instead of character driven. This is not one of those occasions. The Love Goddess' Cooking School is a wonderful, romantic Food-Lit and I can't wait to share it. I think Melissa Senate's writing is much like Sarah Addison Allen without the magical realism... and you all know how much I love Sarah Addison Allen. Melissa Senate has created characters that are incredibly easy to identify with - flawed but redeemable. It's I always have a hard time reading romances because they tend to be plot driven instead of character driven. This is not one of those occasions. The Love Goddess' Cooking School is a wonderful, romantic Food-Lit and I can't wait to share it. I think Melissa Senate's writing is much like Sarah Addison Allen without the magical realism... and you all know how much I love Sarah Addison Allen. Melissa Senate has created characters that are incredibly easy to identify with - flawed but redeemable. It's been a long time since I read a novel where I felt connected with almost every character. Ms. Senate does an incredible job of making them empathetic. I loved them all. From Liam, the single dad trying to keep his daughter's world from crumbling without her mother, to the recently divorced Simon who is finding his way as a 'weekend dad', to Mia who is trying so hard to figure out where she fits, to Tamara the frustrated serial dater, and Juliet the heartbroken -whose story definitely struck a chord. It's Holly, however with whom I identify the most. Holly can't seem to find a place for herself, falls for the wrong guys, and sometimes sets too much stock in fate and destiny. I love her determination and her desire to see things through. I love that she chose to continue her Nonna's legacy, even though it meant facing her fears and striking out on her own. As I mentioned, this book is not plot driven, but the unfolding of the character's lives pulls the reader through it at a wonderful pace so that I wasn't racing to see what was going to happen next, but enjoying what was happening now. Did I know where the book was headed? Yes. But it was one of those rare times when I wasn't in a hurry to get there. I was just enjoying the world of Blue Crab Island and it's inhabitants. The only thing that seemed a tad out of place were the recipes at the end of the book. Not that they weren't related to the story, they were certainly recipes for the meals made at the cooking school. Perhaps it was because the story was so fabulous, but, in the end, the recipes seemed a little superfluous. I can see not wanting to break the continuity of the story by placing them at the ends of chapters, but I think to be included, they needed to be incorporated into the book somehow because it came off feeling like an afterthought. Though not a bad afterthought and that is only my opinion... I've used the word loved a lot in this post but that's because I thought this book was marvelous - I'm actually running out of synonyms for excellent. This review has been difficult to write because I don't want to gush about it, I'd rather just curl up inside it. It's the perfect balance of love, friendship, and of course, good food. http://girlsjustreading.blogspot.com/...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Good Chick Lit 1 lost character named Holly Dash of magical realism At least one hot guy Several interesting characters Secrets, angst and a fun plot to keep readers interested Delicious recipes to make your mouth water 1 wish

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melodie

    Holly has just had her heart broken. What better way to lick her wounds than to fly home to her Nonna's place in Maine? Her Nonna is a culinary teacher with on Blue Crab Island. For years and years she has welded her culinary magic with comfy Italian food and told fortunes on the side. After Nonna's passing, Holly finds herself the proprietress of her business.However, Holly doesn't possess the magic touch that her grandmother had with food and definitely can't see the future. Determined to pay Holly has just had her heart broken. What better way to lick her wounds than to fly home to her Nonna's place in Maine? Her Nonna is a culinary teacher with on Blue Crab Island. For years and years she has welded her culinary magic with comfy Italian food and told fortunes on the side. After Nonna's passing, Holly finds herself the proprietress of her business.However, Holly doesn't possess the magic touch that her grandmother had with food and definitely can't see the future. Determined to pay homage to her grandmother, she pulls herself out of her self induced funk and starts to practice her inherited recipes. Her road to success is predictably bumpy. Her cooking class is full of lonely hearts like herself, so their camaraderie is assured. One of her students is a tween named Mia that Holly takes under her wing. Of course Mia has a hunky single dad. The reader can see how this goes. However formula driven this story is, I found it charming and was easily immersed in the atmosphere and the characters. The food descriptions were mouth watering and selected recipes can be found in the back of the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    A friend sent me this book in exchange for the Cookbook Collector which I lent to her. Warning: this is extreme chick lit. Not the least bit literary. Very formulaic and presses all the comfort, female fantasy buttons-- romantic guy, very nice, self-deprecating woman without a penny to her name who inherits house and business on the coast of Maine, lots of hot baths, good food and wine, nurturing, loneliness blossoming into friendship. Good read for rainy November Sunday afternoon. Watch the num A friend sent me this book in exchange for the Cookbook Collector which I lent to her. Warning: this is extreme chick lit. Not the least bit literary. Very formulaic and presses all the comfort, female fantasy buttons-- romantic guy, very nice, self-deprecating woman without a penny to her name who inherits house and business on the coast of Maine, lots of hot baths, good food and wine, nurturing, loneliness blossoming into friendship. Good read for rainy November Sunday afternoon. Watch the number of typos-- was this book thrown together without copy editing?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Once again I am won over by a book that transcends its genre and makes me think I should be more broadminded about that genre - chick lit. I've pretty much hated every chick lit book I've ever read. So much of it is about women who care most about shopping, getting into the latest hot new club, their weight, their makeup, and snagging that enormous diamond ring and great big expensive wedding. These characters tend to be so shallow and the books tend to be so thinly written that I end up loathin Once again I am won over by a book that transcends its genre and makes me think I should be more broadminded about that genre - chick lit. I've pretty much hated every chick lit book I've ever read. So much of it is about women who care most about shopping, getting into the latest hot new club, their weight, their makeup, and snagging that enormous diamond ring and great big expensive wedding. These characters tend to be so shallow and the books tend to be so thinly written that I end up loathing them. One exception to this is The Devil Wears Prada, although I probably adored the wrong character - I think Miranda Priestly is a goddess and loved that the book was filled with the kind of couture that transcends fashion and becomes art. The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate just made this list. The best thing of all about this book is how simple it is - a good story, simply told. No unnecessary embellishments, no cliches, no stereotypes, just an honestly told story about being in your thirties - a time of life when for most people everything is up for grabs. Everyone in this book is at a crossroads in their lives with their old life down the toilet for whatever reason and the course of their new life still uncertain. It made me think of the time after my divorce when I had to try to sort out who I was going to be, how I was going to live. It was a hard time for me, for my son, and for my ex-husband. Although I never thought it would come to where it has today, it did work out for the best. The thread that runs throughout this book is all the ways that cooking and eating and sharing both things bind people together and how having a strong connection to the past, like the one Holly has with her grandmother, is so essential to grounding you in the present. The cooking in this book isn't highlighted in any special way, but rather is a constant in the book, as it should be in real life. It's full of as many burnt bechamel sauces as it is sublime risotto. It acknowledges that the fun is in the process, not necessarily in the product (although it never hurts when the product is great, too). There's an important message here about not being afraid to risk, not being afraid to fail that really resonates with me. The other thread is Holly's relationship with her recently deceased grandmother. They had a very special relationship and that touched my heart. It made think of my grandmothers, both gone now, and how much they each meant to me and how many things I learned from each of them even though they were very different from each other. They were both an enormous part of helping me become the person I am today and I miss them both almost every day. This is a warm and beautiful book with an honest simple story that is filled with the good smells of garlic and onion and olive oil filling the house with love and companionship. I adored this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I have to admit that "The Love Goddess' Cooking School" was the first book by Melissa Senate I've read since "See Jane Date" (back in 2002), which I loved. I have her other books but haven't had a chance to read them yet. I don't think anything was keeping me from reading them, but now that I've finished this book, I definitely will be reading more from Ms. Senate. "The Love Goddess' Cooking School" is about Holly, a woman who loses a serious relationship, gets fired from her job and is kicked ou I have to admit that "The Love Goddess' Cooking School" was the first book by Melissa Senate I've read since "See Jane Date" (back in 2002), which I loved. I have her other books but haven't had a chance to read them yet. I don't think anything was keeping me from reading them, but now that I've finished this book, I definitely will be reading more from Ms. Senate. "The Love Goddess' Cooking School" is about Holly, a woman who loses a serious relationship, gets fired from her job and is kicked out of her apartment within a short period of time. She flies across the country, back to her grandmother's home and cooking school in Maine. Her grandmother passes away shortly afterward, leaving her home and cooking school in Holly's care. However, Holly doesn't know how to cook the way her grandmother did. It doesn't help that her grandmother was a fortune teller, a skill that Holly does not possess, which also set a reputation for her with the townsfolk and Holly's own mother. With the help of some new friends, Holly learns how to navigate the world of cooking, teaching and even love in this heartfelt and romantic story. This novel flowed beautifully with a strong female voice, sympathetic characters, delicious sounding food (except for sa cordula, of course) and breathtaking descriptions of an island in Maine. I loved everything about it and had a difficult time putting it down. I stayed up last night just so I could finish the rest of it in one sitting. There was a sensitive topic that was tackled during the story, which was hard to read about as a mother. However, Ms. Senate handled it gracefully and made it more comfortable for the reader to handle. (Seeing that she's a mother too, I couldn't even imagine her doing it any other way.) The dialogue was natural and realistic throughout the story and each character was portrayed vividly, making them even more dynamic and interesting. The only criticism I have is that Ms. Senate's editors weren't careful before letting this go to print. I found some spelling and grammatical errors scattered throughout the story. (If she needs an extra set of eyes in the future, I'd be glad to help.) This did not detract from my enjoyment of a truly wonderful story that I hope everyone gets the chance to read. originally posted here: http://chicklitcentraltheblog.blogspo...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    This is such a fun and charming book! It's the story of Holly, who moves back into her grandmother's home after a bad breakup, and then has to find a new direction in life when her beloved nonna dies. Fortunately, Holly learns to love cooking and is able to take over her grandmother's Italian cooking class. I don't read much modern chick lit, but I'm glad I gave this one a try. I could see this book being turned into a delightful movie. And if you like romantic comedies or stories about food, you This is such a fun and charming book! It's the story of Holly, who moves back into her grandmother's home after a bad breakup, and then has to find a new direction in life when her beloved nonna dies. Fortunately, Holly learns to love cooking and is able to take over her grandmother's Italian cooking class. I don't read much modern chick lit, but I'm glad I gave this one a try. I could see this book being turned into a delightful movie. And if you like romantic comedies or stories about food, you'll enjoy this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mela

    I think it is a good novel. Cozy, chick-lit, with a bit of humor. And I didn't mind that the romance was obvious. I am not sure why I don't want to read it. I just don't. So, don't stop because of me - try it if you have a copy. There is a big chance you will like it. I think it is a good novel. Cozy, chick-lit, with a bit of humor. And I didn't mind that the romance was obvious. I am not sure why I don't want to read it. I just don't. So, don't stop because of me - try it if you have a copy. There is a big chance you will like it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    What a lovely novel! I treated myself to THE LOVE GODDESS' COOKING SCHOOL after a crazy deadline. Then my cat got sick, which didn't exactly alleviate the stress. So I was very grateful for Melissa Senate's new book, which (like those old Calgon commericals), took me away for awhile. It was a pleasure meeting Holly Maguire and learning about her relationship with her Italian grandmother Camilla. Holly just broke up with a man she thought she was in love with and flew to Maine to see Camilla befo What a lovely novel! I treated myself to THE LOVE GODDESS' COOKING SCHOOL after a crazy deadline. Then my cat got sick, which didn't exactly alleviate the stress. So I was very grateful for Melissa Senate's new book, which (like those old Calgon commericals), took me away for awhile. It was a pleasure meeting Holly Maguire and learning about her relationship with her Italian grandmother Camilla. Holly just broke up with a man she thought she was in love with and flew to Maine to see Camilla before her grandma passed away. She inherits Camilla's Cucinotta on Blue Crab Island, although she barely knows how to cook. But she practices working on her grandma's handwritten recipes daily and keeps the business alive. She even gets enough confidence to run a cooking class, as Camilla had for many years. Her first group of students includes a 12-year-old dying for her divorced parents to get back together, a woman who's lost her only child, a thirty-something woman looking for love, and a divorced man who can't seem to please his daughter. Through their cooking classes--always adding a pinch of memory or something equally magical to the mixture--the students and Holly grow and find what their lives have been missing. This was a very sweet novel that I could recommend to all readers. Let THE LOVE GODDESS' COOKING SCHOOL take you away for awhile, as it did me. You won't be disappointed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    "Holly Maguire gets her heartbroken and moves from California to Maine into her grandmother's house and kitchen. Her grandmother, Camilla, is known in town as the Italian cooking teacher and even more so, as a fortune teller. When her grandmother passes away and leaves her house and kitchen to Holly, she decides to continue with the cooking classes although she is not as gifted with cooking, or fortune telling, as her nonna. I wanted to read something fun and got something boring instead. Everyth "Holly Maguire gets her heartbroken and moves from California to Maine into her grandmother's house and kitchen. Her grandmother, Camilla, is known in town as the Italian cooking teacher and even more so, as a fortune teller. When her grandmother passes away and leaves her house and kitchen to Holly, she decides to continue with the cooking classes although she is not as gifted with cooking, or fortune telling, as her nonna. I wanted to read something fun and got something boring instead. Everything was pretty predictable from the beginning. I can see this being turned into a made-for-television movie, probably airing on Lifetime. I was also surprised at how many grammatical errors and double words I found while reading. The author should get another editor/publisher. I think the one thing I liked about this book was how there are a few of the recipes included in the back, which I will try. Hopefully they are better than the story."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    I liked this as a nice and easy read that just makes you feel good. But I don't enjoy the references to current pop culture. It dates it. No matter what, in ten plus however many years, someone reading this book will say "Edward Cullen/Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana - who?". I liked this as a nice and easy read that just makes you feel good. But I don't enjoy the references to current pop culture. It dates it. No matter what, in ten plus however many years, someone reading this book will say "Edward Cullen/Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana - who?".

  14. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    3.5 stars. A light, sweet and quick read. The only thing that drove me nuts were the grammar mistakes. There were SO many. I found it distracting at times.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    This book made me feel the feels! I will admit that I am totally an emotional reviewer when it comes to books, which is why on occasion my opinion of a book can change on reread. This is rare but it happens. But, this book falls under one of my favorite genres, magical-realism. Not to mention, it talks a lot about one of my favorite types of food, Italian, so right away I was sucked in. You follow the story of Holly, who shortly after a heartbreak, decides to move back in with her fortune-tellin This book made me feel the feels! I will admit that I am totally an emotional reviewer when it comes to books, which is why on occasion my opinion of a book can change on reread. This is rare but it happens. But, this book falls under one of my favorite genres, magical-realism. Not to mention, it talks a lot about one of my favorite types of food, Italian, so right away I was sucked in. You follow the story of Holly, who shortly after a heartbreak, decides to move back in with her fortune-telling grandmother temporarily until she figures out what she wants to do with her life. Sadly her grandmother passes away two weeks later leaving her the house and her famous Italian cooking shop, where Holly will have to use her "limited" cooking skills to teach classes. Sounds a bit sad right? The book doesn't make it sad though. There are certainly sad moments and let me tell I read a chapter late in the book that had me bawling, but mostly because it reminded me of my own grandmother and how beautiful memories, even sometimes the not so great ones can be. This is a type of book that I like to call a hot chocolate book because while there are serious and sad situations that do arise the book overall makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. My one complaint would be that I thought some of the situations were resolved a little quickly, but then again there is only so much you can fit in a book that is less than 400 pages. So if you need a bit of a pick-me-up book, that isn't overly angsty and can be quite fun at times I suggest this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Holly Maguire’s grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine–a Milanese fortune-teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can’t make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that’s why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla’s Cu Holly Maguire’s grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine–a Milanese fortune-teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can’t make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that’s why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla’s Cucinotta, she’s determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother’s legacy. But Holly’s four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla’s chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter’s heart. Juliet, Holly’s childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can’t find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad, Liam, from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla’s essential ingredients of wishes and memories in every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed–and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam . . . and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness. People have been telling me for ages to read See Jane Date by Melissa Senate but I’ve never gotten around to finding myself a copy. When I saw Melissa had a new book coming out called The Love Goddess’ Cooking School, I loved the sound of it and when a preview finally came up on Amazon, I had a quick sneak peek and I thought the book sounded like my kind of thing so I bought myself a copy. As soon as it arrived, I quickly finished my previous book and got stuck into this one. It took me about a week to read, but not a moment of it was dull. The Love Goddess’ Cooking School has a wonderful plot, and I was drawn into the book immediately as we find out that when Holly Maguire was told her fortune by her grandmother Camilla and all that she’s told is that the great love of her life will like Sa Cordula, an Italian dish made of lamb intestines that nobody likes. It was a great way to start the novel and I was sad I couldn’t dedicate more of my time to the book. We learn Camilla has recently died and left her business Camilla Cuchinotta’s to Holly so Holly rapidly has to learn how to cook her grandmother’s famous Italian dishes so she can teach Camilla’s cooking class as well as sell her wares. I thought the cooking class plot was fantastic and I enjoyed getting to know Holly and her students, Tamara, Simon, Juliet and young Mia. Throw in Mia’s dad Liam and we have a fantastic and well-rounded cast. I truly didn’t know what to expect from the novel. Just because the Amazon preview I had was good didn’t mean I would necessarily love the rest of the novel so I was pleased to find that I did enjoy immersing myself in the book. I thought Camilla’s recipes were wonderful, and I liked the way Senate made them unique by making sure every time Holly or one of her students cooked, they added in a memory or a wish to help it along the way. During the novel we also have some diary entries by Camilla written way back when she first started her fortune telling and Camilla’s Cucinotta and I found them incredibly interesting. In fact, I could have read an entire book dedicated to Camilla’s diary during the 60′s at Blue Crab Cove. I must also mention where the book is set, in Blue Crab Cove in Maine. It’s fictional, but it sounds like a wonderful place to live. I was thrilled that I took the chance on the book. I loved it so much that I’ve ordered myself another Melissa Senate book and should I love that, too, I’ll definitely be getting Melissa’s other books. The setting was perfect, the plot was everything I expected and more and I absolutely loved each and every one of the characters and was rooting for them to get their happy endings. I would hugely recommend the book to all Chick Lit fans. It’s a very sweet read, and one I am so so glad I took a chance on. It’s lovely when you buy a book and it ends up being a fantastic read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    I must confess I have a thing for books that are somehow related to Italy. And when it's through food? Even better! Oh, the wonders of testing a recipe you have read about. Reading a Melissa Senate book is like sitting down for a long conversation with a best friend. We talk about everything and nothing. There are ups and downs, smiles and tears, laughs and silences that long ago stopped being awkward. Some might call it a light reading, an easy escape, but I believe The Love Goddess' Cooking Sch I must confess I have a thing for books that are somehow related to Italy. And when it's through food? Even better! Oh, the wonders of testing a recipe you have read about. Reading a Melissa Senate book is like sitting down for a long conversation with a best friend. We talk about everything and nothing. There are ups and downs, smiles and tears, laughs and silences that long ago stopped being awkward. Some might call it a light reading, an easy escape, but I believe The Love Goddess' Cooking School is whatever you need it to be (and whatever you are ready for). It can be just another chick lit (even though I quite dislike that expression), or a revelation... You find yourself rooting for these characters for, at some point in your life, you have been in their shoes, you have been one or all of them at the same time. We all have doubted ourselves and others, we all have had to let go of something we once thought to be the only thing we truly had, we all have had to get up after running into a brick wall that we were so enchanted by that we didn't recognize it for what it was... Life plays its tricks on us and we all have different ways of dealing with said tricks. I usually find that writing them down or reading them/seeing them portrayed by a character makes it easier to acknowledge them for what they truly are, something you can overcome. If I had to come up with just one word to describe The Love Goddess' Cooking School I would have to go with hope. It's impossible not to feel it. And now... now I am off to buy the ingredients to give Camilla's Cucinotta Tiramisu a go!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christi

    Do not read on an empty stomach! This is such an enchanting story. I love Camilla’s memories (via her diary) and the tales of her many thriving businesses. The granddaughter that inherits her home, store and cooking school is Holly. She is such a great character to follow as she makes her own discoveries and conquers the kitchen. I love the different, quirky students that attend her class and the way they find their own paths while they discuss their wishes, regrets and memories. It was a super Do not read on an empty stomach! This is such an enchanting story. I love Camilla’s memories (via her diary) and the tales of her many thriving businesses. The granddaughter that inherits her home, store and cooking school is Holly. She is such a great character to follow as she makes her own discoveries and conquers the kitchen. I love the different, quirky students that attend her class and the way they find their own paths while they discuss their wishes, regrets and memories. It was a super quick read because I DID NOT WANT TO PUT IT DOWN. I actually visited Portland, ME a few years ago and it's a well known fact amongst my friends and family that I may just pack up and move there one day (from Oklahoma). The author’s narrative and vivid descriptions of the island were so charming and almost outshone the amazing food that was created in this story. I can’t wait to pass this book on to my foodie friends.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    This is actually more of a 3 1/2 stars book but I went with 4 because I like the genre and the story sucked me in so that I did nothing else but read all day. It reminds me of The School of Essential Ingredients in a lot of ways. I loved the recipes and really want to try some as the author added them at the end of the book. Great cast of characters and message. Holly is looking for love but finding that it is harder to find because of the fortune her Italian grandmother told her when she was 16 This is actually more of a 3 1/2 stars book but I went with 4 because I like the genre and the story sucked me in so that I did nothing else but read all day. It reminds me of The School of Essential Ingredients in a lot of ways. I loved the recipes and really want to try some as the author added them at the end of the book. Great cast of characters and message. Holly is looking for love but finding that it is harder to find because of the fortune her Italian grandmother told her when she was 16. Now 30, Holly moves back to Maine and takes over her grandmothers cooking school although she doesn't feel comfortable cooking. Her first 4 students teach her as much about life, friendship, and love as she teaches them (and herself) about cooking great Italian food. Wishes are important in this book and mine is that the author would write a sequel to this book! Like having eaten a great Italian meal, I am full but want more!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Clay

    Similar to "The school of essential ingredients' Look forward to it. This was a charming book, similar, but yet very different from 'The School of Essential Ingredients'. After her grandmother passes away, Holly moves into her cottage/cooking school on an island off the coast of Maine. With her grandmothers recipe binder she learns to cook and registers students. They all are experiencing some kind of life trauma. The recipes they learn all have one 'Final Ingredient' "A wish, a memory, or a true Similar to "The school of essential ingredients' Look forward to it. This was a charming book, similar, but yet very different from 'The School of Essential Ingredients'. After her grandmother passes away, Holly moves into her cottage/cooking school on an island off the coast of Maine. With her grandmothers recipe binder she learns to cook and registers students. They all are experiencing some kind of life trauma. The recipes they learn all have one 'Final Ingredient' "A wish, a memory, or a true statement " which they each supply during the cooking process. Their lives come together in some unexpected ways. I see the recipes with the Final Ingredients becoming a part of my weekend cooking blog "Marilyn's Table" at some future date.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    It took me a little while to get into this book. I don't know if it was the actual book or if I just had too much on my mind. Anyway, after I was about a third through it, I found myself engrossed in the book. FYI, if you like italian food, this book will make you hungry. The plot was good and I really liked the character, especially Camilla. When you're looking for a good romance to curl up with on the couch, this is the book you're looking for. Just make sure you have some pasta on hand. It took me a little while to get into this book. I don't know if it was the actual book or if I just had too much on my mind. Anyway, after I was about a third through it, I found myself engrossed in the book. FYI, if you like italian food, this book will make you hungry. The plot was good and I really liked the character, especially Camilla. When you're looking for a good romance to curl up with on the couch, this is the book you're looking for. Just make sure you have some pasta on hand.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I can't believe I'm going to write this but... this plot line was too much out of a romance novel for my liking. I wasn't really surprised with anything and I can't say that the "drama" was dramatic. Very predictable but no follow through. I would have rather read more of the fortune-telling Italian grandmother's diary. That was interesting. The rest of the story? Meh. I can't recommend this one. I can't believe I'm going to write this but... this plot line was too much out of a romance novel for my liking. I wasn't really surprised with anything and I can't say that the "drama" was dramatic. Very predictable but no follow through. I would have rather read more of the fortune-telling Italian grandmother's diary. That was interesting. The rest of the story? Meh. I can't recommend this one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Çimen

    A charming book about discovering where you belong. I liked the characters, especially the lovely Camilla. as well as the plot. Some of the outcomes were quite predictable, still it is a very sweet story. It rekindled my passion for trying out new recipies, making little variations to get them just right and sharing with my loved ones. 3.5

  24. 4 out of 5

    Citra

    Great story, love the writing style and such a page turner. I wonder what it feels like to have a cooking lesson.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Webster

    A beautiful story about love, wishes and life. It will, also, make you hungry. Charming characters and each with their own little stories all interwoven by a cooking school.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The concept was great. I would have liked to have seen the characters developed a bit more. A good light read but beware of the typos. And the continuity with the grandmother's diary. The concept was great. I would have liked to have seen the characters developed a bit more. A good light read but beware of the typos. And the continuity with the grandmother's diary.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

    What a comfortable book to read over a long weekend! I loved the main characters of Holly, Mia, and Liam and the secondary characters were certainly people I would enjoy meeting. I picked up this book because it fit a requirement for a reading challenge; it is a book that I will be keeping and not donating anytime soon! Go Cards! L1C4!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    A word of caution for those picking up Melissa Senate’s new novel, The Love Goddess’ Cooking School: don’t read on an empty stomach. I’ve issued this caution before, I know, but trust me this one time, friends. Since beginning this warm and engaging novel, I’ve been dreaming of tiramisu, spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, lasagna and ricotta cheese. As someone who feels she must have been Italian in another life (pasta, I love pasta!), the odd stains scarring the pages of my copy may or may not be A word of caution for those picking up Melissa Senate’s new novel, The Love Goddess’ Cooking School: don’t read on an empty stomach. I’ve issued this caution before, I know, but trust me this one time, friends. Since beginning this warm and engaging novel, I’ve been dreaming of tiramisu, spaghetti with Bolognese sauce, lasagna and ricotta cheese. As someone who feels she must have been Italian in another life (pasta, I love pasta!), the odd stains scarring the pages of my copy may or may not be drool. The prose was just . . . scrumptious. And Senate describes Holly’s creations so well, you’ll want to throw this one down and make dinner every time you finish a chapter. What I love about this work, Senate’s latest in a long line of great books, is her ability to create likable, friendly and interesting characters who captivate you right from the start. Like the men entranced by the exotic, lovely Camilla Constantina, an Italian immigrant who arrived in America with her young husband and was widowed in the U.S., I was immediately drawn into Holly’s world and felt like I was reading the story of a dear friend. Have I read the running-away-to-find-yourself plots before? Yes, of course. But in Senate’s hands, a familiar story takes on new nuances. Holly is a bumbling, uncomfortable woman when first we meet her — aching from loss and grief, both in the form of her relationship with John and her grandmother’s unexpected passing; lost as to what to do with her life. Having spent most of her adult years following men from city to city, she has no career or aspirations. She has no calling. And Camilla, when she was living, could tell her little about her future . . . aside from the premonition about sa cordula. She needs guidance. And through her grandmother’s magical recipes, she finds solace and direction. Liam’s slow pursuit of Holly was magical, too, and felt honest. Though initially attracted to one another, Holly and Liam don’t suddenly find themselves locked in a passionate embrace. There are so many factors to consider: rules to follow; guidelines that should be met. And it takes a whole lot of thinking and analyzing for them to move forward. Of course, when they do? Well. Love can’t happen along someone else’s guidelines . . . sometimes we make the rules up for ourselves. I’ve read and loved many of Melissa Senate’s novels, including The Solomon Sisters Wise Up, and this was a departure from her usual fare. Still about women, love and family, yes, but there were no sisters here to speak of — and sisters appear often in Senate’s works! I’m happy to report this is my favorite Senate read of all, and a book I’ll still be thinking about in the months to come. Holly is an inspiration. Now, where’s that tiramisu?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hawley

    The description "blueberry-coloured eyes" was used about 6 times too often. The description "blueberry-coloured eyes" was used about 6 times too often.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yan

    Everything you need to know about the novel can be surmised from the synopsis. The Love Goddess’s Cooking School makes one reader very, very hungry for some decent Italian cuisine. Thank God that there are recipes readers can follow at the back of the novel or I might have taken a bite of the novel. Yum…. The Love Goddess’ Cooking School was a delicious novel that held different layers like a lasagna with various textures, aromas, and tastes. The novel does not completely focus on cooking and man Everything you need to know about the novel can be surmised from the synopsis. The Love Goddess’s Cooking School makes one reader very, very hungry for some decent Italian cuisine. Thank God that there are recipes readers can follow at the back of the novel or I might have taken a bite of the novel. Yum…. The Love Goddess’ Cooking School was a delicious novel that held different layers like a lasagna with various textures, aromas, and tastes. The novel does not completely focus on cooking and many of the side-characters try to find their niche in life and the reason for existence at all. The potential of a new stepmother drives Mia to the cooking class. She becomes the bright singular light and one of the wisest and fearless out of the bunch. But she herself is so fragile and breakable, just a young tween, that the arrival of her mother throws everything out of balance. Mia physically demonstrates in a person whereas Holly emotionally develops through her cooking. Holly’s grandmother’s diary, however, leaves some questions remaining. It does bring light to this family tension that passes through generation and takes into account the progression of assimilation and the effects it has on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations. Having taken a course on race and culture, The Love Goddess’ Cooking School follows the exact same pattern and concept. This is just another layer to that piling lasagna that makes this novel delicious. The novel is part heartbreaking, part love humor, and all gobbled up by me. The ending, however, was a little tough to chew.

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