Everyone remembers something about his or her favorite books. Memorable characters, magical landscapes, and witty dialogue can stay with us for years. For author Dinah Fried, the succulent, juicy descriptions of tasty literary morsels are what keep her indulging in her favorite novels and stories.
From the watery gruel in Oliver Twist to the lavish chicken breakfast in To Kill a Mockingbird, the meals in Fictitious Dishes bring to life those delicious and memorable scenes from some of literature’s best stories. Each meal is prepared and arranged on a place setting that highlights the story it came from, and resting beside each photo is the text from the book that inspired its creation. Each page also contains interesting facts about the book, author, or food in discussion.
While I found this book exceedingly charming and sweet, I also felt it lacked a certain substance. Maybe it was the fact that it didn’t contain any recipes…or maybe it was the fact that I thought a few books were clearly missing from this lineup (um, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Chocolat perhaps??)…or maybe it was even that I didn’t agree with some of the meals that made it into this publication, but I just didn’t feel “full” after reading Fictitious Dishes. I was still hungry for more! There was no connection, no understanding of WHY Fried selected the books that she did. Maybe if there was some commentary as to what drew her to these scenes, it would be more enjoyable to digest. Were they favorite stories from her childhood? Did they remind her of her grandmother? Where was the spice and flavor? The pictures were beautiful and amazingly styled, but as a publication, Fictitious Dishes just tasted bland.
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.