“Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel have written an absorbing novel that reflects the wisdom of MFK Fisher, namely that there is no separating food and dining from family and friends. . . . A satisfying meal for both body and soul. — Sara Moulton
Loyalty, loss, and the ties that bind: These are the ingredients of The Recipe Club, a "novel cookbook" that combines an authentic story of friendship with more than eighty delicious recipes.
Lifelong friends Lilly and Val are united as much by their differences as by their similarities. In childhood, "LillyPad" and "ValPal" form an exclusive two-person club, writing intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets . . . and recipes—from Lilly's "Lovelorn Lasagna" to Valerie's "Forgiveness Tapenade." The Recipe Club sustains Lilly and Val's bond across the decades: through the challenges of independence, the joys and heartbreaks of first love, and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred—until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.
About the Author
Andrea Israel is an Emmy Award-winning television producer and writer and the author of Taking Tea.
Nancy Garfinkel is an award-winning writer, design consultant, creative strategist, and editor, and co-author of The Wine Lover's Guide to the Wine Country.
“Told through letters and recipes, this novel traces the pair’s loving, competitive friendship from 1963, when the girls first meet, to the present. A look at the difficulties of sustaining childhood bonds, it’s also a satisfying meditation on how nourishment for the body can replenish the soul.” — People
“Food and love without the schmaltz and warm fuzzies is what kept me turning the pages of this book. Yes, there are recipes, nostalgic and good ones, but the fascination is in how they mark the years of a childhood friendship struggling to become a life long one. If you’re lucky enough to have that one true best friend, you’ll find all the love, prickliness, laughter, blood curdling honesty, and joy here.” — Lynne Rosetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table, National Public Radio
“I’ve been to many combat zones, so I know a real fight when I see one—and the characters in this book pull no punches. But what surprised me is how their confluct is just as engaging as their crazy humor and deep affection for each other. This book perfectly combines my two favorite things in the world: fiction and food. It’s a great read.” — Bob Woodruff, ABC News anchor and journalist
“I found elements of every one of my own friendships in the 40-year relationship between Lilly and Val, the heroines of this delicious and delightful novel. I also discovered heaps of recipes that I can’t wait to try out. Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel bring to life the joys as well as the disappointments inherent in attachments between women, and the power of food to sustain intimacy when those bonds are strained. The Recipe Club had me nodding in recognition as I hungrily devoured this satisfying and surprising story.” — Giulia Melucci, author of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti
“The Recipe Club is an extraordinary culinary fiction creation—a main dish consisting of a tender and poignant tale of love and friendship, served up with tasty sides of wonderful recipes. This is more than comfort food. It’s haute literary cuisine.” — Isaiah Sheffer, host of Selected Shorts, National Public Radio
“Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel have written an absorbing novel that reflects the wisdom of MFK Fisher, namely that there is no separating food and dining from family and friends. . . . A satisfying meal for both body and soul.” — Sara Moulton, host of Sara’s Weeknight Meals and executive chef, Gourmet magazine