Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Let's talk about: From the Kitchen of Half Truth by Maria Goodin

"I came out a little underdone. Five more minutes and I would have been as big as the other children, my mother said. She blamed my pale complexion on her cravings for white bread (too much flour) and asked the doctor if I would have risen better had she done more exercise (too little air). The doctor wasn’t sure about this, but he was very concerned about the size of my feet. He suggested that next time my mother was pregnant she should try standing on her head or spinning in circles (spinning in circles on her head would be ideal) as this would aid the mixing process and result in a better proportioned baby."

I recently read this book for my book club. 
It is written by Maria Goodin who was born in the South-East of England and the story takes place in England. 
It was originally titled 'Nutmeg' and published in the UK in 2012. 
In the US they changed the title to From the Kitchen of Half Truth which I think is a better title. 
 This novel tells the story of Meg, who has returned to stay with her ill mother. 
Meg is a serious girl who once believed in fairy tales but has not only abandoned them but come to hate them as she grew up. 
Having been made fun of as a child for the outrageous stories she would tell, she decided that a life of truth and fact is the one she wants to live. She is on the verge of a career in science and in a serious relationship with her scientist boyfriend.

 Her mother is obsessed with cooking and telling tales. 
Almost everything she has ever told Meg is obviously laced with half truth. 
She won't even face up to the fact that she is dying. 

Meg is frustrated that she doesn't remember anything 'real' about her childhood and tries to get her mother to face the past and the truth.

This book had me all mixed up. 
I liked parts of it. I didn't like other parts of it. 
I eventually gave it four stars on Goodreads as an overall score but it probably would have been more 3.5-4 if they allowed half scores. 

I was frustrated with the mother's inability to face truth. 
I think fairy tales are great and I indulge in fantasy a lot as well, especially with my children. But I felt like as an adult with an adult daughter she should have been able to be honest. 
I think it would be really hard to look back at your childhood and not know if any of it was real. 
Also, when her daughter started getting made fun of for the stories, she could have stepped in and helped her through it and maybe saved both of them a lot of pain. 
It was a very interesting story and worth a read.


The Kings said...

I agree with your rating on the book.

cheryl said...