The Promise Kitchen: A Novel by Peggy Lampman

Setting: Georgia
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union
Release Date: September 27, 2016



Shelby Preston is a single mom and currently living with her mother. She needs a change from the life she's always led in rural Georgia. This isn't the life she wants, so when she sees an ad looking to send one lucky person to culinary school, she jumps at the opportunity.

Mallory Lakes is still mourning breaking up with her boyfriend. Her job as a food writer seems to be on tentative ground. She comes up with an idea that she hopes will boost her career.

That's the main premise of The Promise Kitchen. Characters come to life on the pages, each having her own quirks, weaknesses, and strengths. The settings of Atlanta and rural Georgia also drew me in.

Despite liking the characters and the setting, there's something about the writing style that just never grabbed me. I think it came down to some of the descriptions becoming too wordy. I wanted to experience the characters' lives, not get bogged down in the writing. As a result, I often found it easier to walk away for a bit than try to keep forcing myself to read. It took me far longer to read this novel than is typical, which I found frustrating.

In the end, I liked The Promise Kitchen, but I never loved the story. I wish there had been more focus on the action than on the descriptions.

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