Thursday, February 7, 2013

{Review} Angelina's Bachelors: A Novel with Food by Brian O'Reilly

ISBN #: 978-1451620566
Page Count: 355
Publisher: Gallery Books
Copyright: August 9, 2011

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Far too young to be a widow, Angelina D'Angelo suddenly finds herself facing a life without her beloved husband, Frank. Late one night shortly after the funeral, she makes her way down to the kitchen and pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left - her passion for cooking. In a frenzy of concentration and swift precision, she builds layer upon layer of thick, rich lasagna, braids loaves of yeasty bread, roasts plump herb-rubbed chicken; she makes so much food that she winds up delivering the spoils to the neighbors in her tight-knit Italian community in South Philadelphia.

Retiree Basil Cupertino, who has just moved in with his kindly sister across the street, is positively smitten with Angelina's food. In a stroke of good fortune, Basil offers Angelina (not only husbandless but unemployed) a job cooking for him - two meals a day, six days a week, in exchange for a handsome salary. Soon, word of her irresistible culinary prowess spreads and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors - and in the process discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together ... and maybe even to provide a second chance at love.

Mandy's Review:

Angelina's Bachelors grips your heart from the beginning and doesn't let go ... even after you've read the last page. It begins with the tragedy of Frank's death, which is sad, but then a short time later, Angelina loses her job ... with a severance pay of $100. With her mind numb and not knowing what to do, Angelina takes a few days to sit around the house and grieve. Her mother-in-law does her best to get Angelina out of her funk, but Angelina is one of those types that just needs some time to get herself together, then she's okay.

Angelina's turning point turns out to be a blessing in disguise. After her all-night session of baking and cooking, Angelina has enough food to feed an army. With the help of her mother-in-law and niece, Angelina distributes the food throughout her neighborhood. A few days later, opportunity comes knocking on her door in the form of one Mr. Basil Cupertino. Recognizing a present-day miracle for what it is, Angelina agrees to his proposal.

From there on out the story is about food, redefining the term "family," love, hope, new beginnings, and fond memories of the past. This is a beautiful story grown from a seed of tragedy. I would highly recommend this to everyone who reads fiction.

*A paperback copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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