A dual narrative in which a woman finds a cookbook buried in the basement of her new home and becomes captivated with the cookbook's previous owner, a 1950s housewife. Dissatisfied with her own life, she becomes absorbed in learning the story--and the secrets--of the last woman who lived in her house.
... chapters alternate between Alice and Nellie, though more chapters are dedicated to modern-day Alice and her escalating power struggle with Nate; Nellie’s chapters transport readers to a time that was much different yet in some ways the same ... Brown kills it; her latest is a winner so captivating that fans of modern and old-fashioned stories about women could easily read it in one day.
Strong, well-drawn women anchor Brown's deeply thought-provoking, feminist novel. The spellbinding dual stories complement each other, raising themes of self-discovery, self-preservation and liberation for two women living eras apart.
Brown excels at bringing the complexities of women’s lives to the page, and her latest novel questions how much has really changed for women over the last 60 years. The pacing is brisk, the characters are appealing, and both time lines are equally well realized. Thoughtful, clever, and surprisingly dark, this could be a breakout hit for Brown.