The cool thing about reviewing books online is that sometimes I get sent random books to see if they are something I am interested in or not. The Good Plain Cook by Bethan Roberts was one of those books. I had never heard of it before but thought it sounded interesting and for some reason I really liked the homey cover.
Set in the 1930's, nineteen year old Kitty Allen answers an add in the newspaper for a position as a "good plain cook" for a wealthier household. Interesting thing, Kitty Allen doesn't really know how to cook that much. Even more interesting is her employers: wealthy Ellen Steinberg, her live-in lover/poet George Crane, and Ellen's teen daughter Geenie.
The book is about relationships. There's some triangles: widowed Ellen, George, and George's wife (yep, he's married). Then George sees a muse in innocent Kitty so there's another triangle. Then there's the gardener who is interested in Kitty but is he glamorous enough when there's a poet in the house? Last but not least, George's daughter Diana comes to stay and becomes friends with Geenie (not really a triangle there but they were my favorite characters).
And that's about it. I have to say one thing: Bethan Roberts can write. It felt like a classic. My problem: I'm not a big fan of those types of classic. While it kept my interest and I loved the writing, I was half-way through the book when I realized not much had gone on. And then when I got to the end I had the same feeling.
So it's really what type of reader you are that will decide if this is a good book or not. I loved the writing and I really enjoyed the side-story of Geenie and Diana. But at the end of the day, for me, it wasn't a bad novel, just slightly forgettable.
**Thank you Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc. for the chance to read and review this book!
I didn't find any other reviews, but Medieval Bookworm reviewed her book The Pools and found it to be a "stunning book".