Sometimes it’s enough to read a story that could take place next door to you. No magic, no long-lost rock star parent, no spy agency looking for kids to recruit.
Steffy is that kid you know who likes to cook and is kind of quiet but a good friend. She likes her sister, at least most of the time, and she loves her Auntie Gina who has taken care of her since her mom’s accident years ago. Mom is living in a care facility for people with brain injuries. Dad is gone. Until he isn’t.
Is it a good thing Dad is back? Maybe. Maybe not. Lives are so complicated. Grief and loss and change are complicated. Cooking is simple.
I’ve started a lot of realistic fiction lately, but I haven’t made it past the first few chapters very often. This book was different. It’s a quick read, but not one you have to read all in one sitting. Steffy and the other characters are people with flaws, who make mistakes and then make other mistakes while they’re trying to fix things. Kind of like all of us. It has a happy ending, but maybe not the happy ending you expect. Like life, I guess. I think that’s why I liked it so much – its imperfections make it special, and it doesn’t force a predictable happy ending on what we see around us every day.
And there are recipes. That’s good, too.
One Hundred Spaghetti Strings by Jen Nails