Bread and Dreams...

Bread and DreamsI *really* enjoyed Bread and Dreams by Jonatha Ceely. I believe that this was nominated for something. Otherwise I'm not really sure how it made it onto my list and it's been on my request list of a few months. Or maybe it was a list book. I can definitely see this being on a list of books to read somewhere. Sometimes I think I need to keep track of how I find books but to be honest that's just way too much work for me.

I tend to like historical novels. It might have something to do with the whole double major in history and archaeology. I obviously have an interest in the past. Plus, I'm a foodie. I love food. I love reading about food. I love cooking. I'm not so crazy about baking unless it's bread or something else that's not sweet (I really don't have a sweet tooth - my mother thinks I'm a mutant).

This book drew me in quickly. I liked Mina a lot. She was very naive but yet spunky. I like spunk. And I can sympathize with suddenly being in a big city. I moved from a province of 136000 people and a town of less than 2000 to a city of a few million. And then to an even larger city. Both times only having visited the city for a couple of days. It can be overwhelming (but I love it - expect an entry about how much I love this city and the literary scene at some point - hopefully soon...).

I loved how food was woven into the story. It was always there but yet never exactly the focus. Although, I have to be honest - I really wondered how the heck she could have afforded some of the ingredients on her, what I assume to be, rather meager salary. I mean, she was making some stuff that I'm fairly certain that I can't quite afford to make. When she was actually working as a cook it made more sense to me. But not so much before and after.

The characters had more complexity then I expected. Perhaps it's because I've read a bit of fluff lately but characters ended up doing things that I did not expect to them to do. They were not predictable and I liked it. And as I've mentioned here before, I like books that are written from a "diary" perspective.

I really liked this book. If you like food and you like historical novels I would very much recommend it. I'm not ready to declare it a universal must read though. (Denise - I think there is too much food in it for you. Not a whole lot of *really* detailed descriptions but there's just a whole lot of food.)