This is a semi-sort-of book review for a novel I thoroughly enjoyed. However, I want to start out with a word or two of caution. Out to Lunch by the talented and lovely Stacey Ballis has some pitfalls.
Number one: it will make you hungry. Ms. Ballis has a tangible love of lovely food and it shows. The descriptions of some of the food in the book are so well written you can literally ALMOST TASTE THEM. And you'll want to...which brings us to pitfall number two:
Stacey Ballis is obviously a magnificent chief. Not all of us are. She will blithely lead you though how to put together a dish that seems easy as pie. Not all of us are so talented. I'm not a BAD cook per se, but if you are like me and most of your spices are McCormick and have been in your cabinet 5+ years...you are out of her league. Now...don't get me wrong, I made her Turkey Tetrazzini (from her blog) with my leftover Thanksgiving turkey...and have had no less than 4 people beg me for the recipe...but some of the other dishes?? I live in a smallish town in Alabama. You go into Winn Dixie and ask for cippoline onions? Forget about it. You need to just get your happy ass in the car and drive an hour and a half to Trader Joe's in Atlanta.
Pitfall number three: (Spoiler alert) The book is essentially about the lead character dealing with the death of her BESTIE. Her best friend in the world, her soul mate. The person you GETS YOU. If you have one of those (and guys, everyone NEEDS one of those...if you don't, then you need to do...and no, it's not your spouse. You need a BEST. FRIEND) then this will wrench your gut. After I read the first chapter of the book I was a sniveling mess and wanted to rebel, put the book down and then snatch someone bald. Because I can't imagine such a loss. I'm a lucky, lucky girl. I have myself a gaggle of wimmens that I can turn to for anything: My Jenny-Jenn, Annette, Jacquie, the Belindas, Fancy-Nancy, Leslie, etc...and I can't imagine my life without each and every one of them. You read this book? You will immediately want to make a lunch date with your special go-to-girlfriends and kiss each of them on the mouth.
But besides all of the pitfalls...it was a lovely read. Yes, it will make you cry. It will also make you laugh. A lot. You've got some time on your hands before you go back to work after New Years? Do yourself a favor and check this book out.
As a bonus...after you've finished this book, Stacey has several more out there that you can plunge right into after this one...I've downloaded three of her other books and am enjoying them as well.