First off, I have a small version of the bigger anthology that was given to me as a part of the gift – soup bowls and a pack of soup. I have not tried the soup as I usually prefer to make mine from scratch, but the bowls are very useful and attractive, and I will possibly use them quite often.
The other thing of the gift set is a book. The idea is great, and I know that there are a number of thematic editions. I used the ISBN to find the one I have, and the GR site took me to this edition with the same title, but definitely more substantial than the one I have. I wish the editors of the books were competent enough to give it a proper and individual ISBN.
I know the purpose of this book is to console and to inspire, but why can’t the editors choose more substantial stories for a small pocket edition, or if these are the best, what about the other ones?
I am painfully aware that the contributors allegedly are not the established writers and merely bloggers, but then the note about the authors seems to be saying kudos for their published articles and stories, blogs and books.
Personally, the devotional nature of a seemingly secular book aggravated me a lot. People were mentioning their faith for no justifiable reason. Most of them are telling the stories of country cooking that usually requires some canned ingredients and frozen, even if they were home-made, dinners. Some of them focused on broken families with the brood of children from different marriages, stay-at home moms, and farms. Basically, very southern, in the meaning that I do not like it. I really enjoy Southern Gothic, but not the farm cooking with all its accouterments.
There was only one story that featured a hipster-like story-teller whose idea of the meal actully stirred the pleasant feeling of hunger.
All the above and the quality of writing are the main things that only made me give the book two stars. English graduate majors or other published others who use the phrases like ‘fixing dinners’ are not the examples of literary accomplishment, but I am sure the book reaches its target audience if one considers the five and four-star reviews.
I rebuke and reproach myself for trying to read something and then judge it by its literary accomplishments or the the lack thereof when I am NOT a part of its potential target audience. Oh, well, it will serve me as a lesson to read the books that have a potential to provide emotional and intellectual nourishment. Mea culpa!