But don’t take my word for it. Look at this from Library Journal Express reviews:
“Verdict: A debut like this doesn’t come along often—this is women’s fiction to be savored, just like a bowl of Camille’s delicious gumbo. And like gumbo, it’s the blend of ingredients that makes the difference. Marks’s combination of strong female characters, New Orleans culture, and light suspense is a winner.—Nanette Donohue, Champaign P.L., IL”
Pretty dang impressive, huh? And I, of course, love the food analogy. So fitting for this book especially, which conjures up mouth-watering images as it sucks you into its grip. If you’re fond of…
or, my favorite…
…you’ll be especially pleased to know recipes are included in the back of the book. They look positively yummy, but of course I won’t know for sure until I get hubs to test them out for me. (Sadly, unlike Erika, I have no skill in the kitchen. I can mess up a box mix. Though for some reason I’m absolutely fascinated by reading recipes. I also love watching cooking shows. Strange, huh? But I digress…)
Since we’re all contributing questions to a week-long interview with Deb Erika, here’s mine:
Linda: There’s a fair amount of eating and drinking in Little Gale Gumbo (just one of the many things I loved about it!). Was the research arduous for you?
Erika: Oh, it was rough. Grueling, really. I don’t know which was harder: repeated batches of pralines to get the recipe just right for the reader’s guide or sampling versions of milk punch. (And by “sample” I really mean “consume full-sized serving”) Fortunately–and for many reasons besides the one I’m about to impart!–I married a native New Orleanian so I had the benefit of a true expert when it came to replicating many of the recipes, especially the gumbo. As everyone who cooks know, the roux is the hardest part. And what I found most fascinating was the variety of roux you could use, depending on the flavor you wanted. Talk about expertise I don’t have yet! The darker roux are the more flavorful (very smoky) but they’re the hardest to do because you risk burning them that much more, cooking them longer. I can only hope I did justice to the native foods. My husband has confessed that I make a mean red beans and rice for a Yankee, which is, of course, enough for me.
Thanks, Erika! I doubt my skill in the kitchen is any match for a roux, but I totally loved reading the gumbo lesson scene in Ben’s kitchen. It’s the perfect focal point for Camille and Ben’s love story. Love and food – they just go together, don’t they?
Question for commenters: Do you have a favorite scene, from any book you’ve read, that revolves around food and/or eating?
(Personally, I love the one in Evanovich’s One For the Money where Grandma Mazur pulls out a huge handgun at the dinner table, and shoots the roast chicken. Tough to top a good chicken-shooting scene.)
Oh, and before I forget, here’s the BEST THING OF ALL! Erika is going to give away a second copy of Little Gale Gumbo to a lucky commenter here! So here’s your opportunity to read this marvelous book FOR FREE. Trust me, you want to do this.
What’s that you say? You already have your own copy? Well, don’t let that stop you – it makes a perfect gift! Chanukah and Christmas are just around the corner, you know.
So go ahead and tell me your favorite food scene. Or, if you don’t have one, tell me your favorite food. And if you don’t have a favorite food, just say hi! We love to hear from you.