The Blue Bistro: A Novel
This book started out with a menu. A menu that sounded absolutely delightful. The book ended with me in tears. Not an uncommon occurrence when I'm reading. It's also a book that I started and finished in the same afternoon.The book centers around Adrienne Dealey, a 28 year old woman who has just left a bad relationship in Aspen (a really bad relationship where she turned in her boyfriend for theft) and ended up on a boat to Nantucket. There she ends up with a job at a restaurant, as the assistant manager-with no restaurant experience. She has spent the last several years working in resort hotels, in Florida, in Thailand, in New England and Aspen but has no experience in restaurants. But, Thatcher Smith, the Proprietor, for some unknown reason, gives her a job as his assistant manager.Reading this book made me want to work in this kind of environment-and I have even less experience in restaurants than Adrienne-unless you count nine months working in the service deli of a grocery store, not my proudest moments and a job that, although I got high marks on customer service, never really broke into the service deli world!As in every novel, there are catches. The first one is Fiona Kemp, the Executive Chef of the restaurant and best friend of Thatcher from childhood in South Bend, Indiana. Is there something more with Thatcher and Fiona? It's unclear at the beginning but it is clear that there is something desperately wrong with Fiona. She lets nearly no one into her kitchen and there are many other signs that all is not right in Nantucket. Another catch is Adrienne herself, she is so unsure of herself, so afraid of the mistakes that she's made in the past that she's almost afraid to let herself go again.Thatcher and Adrienne end up in a relationship, albeit not the normal one since clearly Thatcher has placed Fiona at the top of his priority list. I both hated and pitied Fiona throughout the book and was really ready to throttle her at the end. I loved Adrienne and all her flaws and Thatcher drove me nuts but reminded me of those I've loved in the past and may still care about today. In fact, throughout reading this book, I was constantly reminded of someone that I'd not thought of in so long as a result of the Thatcher character. It's not that Thatcher is like this person, in many ways they are complete opposites, but there was something that made this person come to my mind over and over again while reading The Blue Bistro.This is definitely a book that will stay with me and when I think of this book, I will think of that person that should be, and very much is-most of the time-in my past.