Friday, September 9, 2016

Book Brief: Dinner With Edward


Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship
by Isabel Vincent
Algonquin Books, 2016
224 pages
source: purchased


I love to visit independent bookstores when I'm traveling and was thrilled to stumbled upon Off the Beaten Path in Steamboat Springs, CO this summer. Of course I didn't need  another book, but still wanted to do my part to support a local indie!

I selected Dinner with Edward, a delightful memoir of a friendship between a middle-aged woman in a failing marriage and a ninety-something widower trying to find meaning in life after the death of his beloved wife. Edward also happens to be a gourmet cook. Each chapter begins with a dinner menu and, naturally, includes Edward's tips and secrets for preparing that dish.... though no recipes are included.

I read the book on our flight home. It turned out to be just as much about life, love, and sharing as it is about food.  It also made me want to visit Roosevelt Island the next time I'm in New York City.
"It's just cooking, darling," he said, when I asked why he didn't use cookbooks. "I  don't ever think of what I'm doing in terms of recipes. I just don't want to bother looking at recipes. To me, that's not cooking - being tied to a piece of paper."
Bottom line: A sweet, enjoyable read, but ultimately not that memorable.

My rating:





Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.


43 comments:

  1. I agree that this book had many delightful momemnts, but wasn't as wonderful as I had hoped from its premise. (To be honest, I'm not sure I really liked Edward...he was so lovingly judgmental!)

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    1. Audrey - He was certainly judgmental but, as you said, in a loving sort of way... a little overbearing, too ;-)

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  2. PS But I'm glad you supported a wonderful bookstore!

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    1. Audrey - I do love little indie bookstores - wish we had more around here!

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  3. Agreed - I think I gave it 4 stars. And kind of a comfort read if you're looking for that. I also think it would make a great fiction/nonfiction pairing with Our Souls at Night.

    And - I've been using Edward's scrambled eggs trick ever since!

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    1. Sarah - When I finished the book, I initially thought 4 stars, but then it just faded so fast. I loved Our Souls at Night... great pairing idea!

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  4. Oh, I was all set to search for a copy until I read "but ultimately not that memorable." That with a 3.5/5 rating makes me think maybe I should look for it at the library... Just check Goodreads and there are a few friends who rated it a bit higher than you, so maybe I'll spring for it, after all. ;)

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    1. Les - I was thinking an easy 4 when I finished reading, but it faded from memory almost immediately. I'd be happy to send you my copy... email your address if you're interested :)

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    2. Aren't you sweet! Thank you!

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  5. I NEVER leave an indie without a new book. Dinner with Edward sounds like a sweet story to me.

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    1. Kathy - It's gotten so I search out indie bookstores when we visit a new town. I've found some real gems!

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  6. I kind of wish I had an Edward in my life, but ultimately the book was only okay for me too.

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    1. Beth F - I'm glad I read instead of listened.

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  7. I love to visit independent bookstores too when I'm visiting a new city. I've never been to Roosevelt Island, even though I can see it from my apartment window, I must remedy that.

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    1. Diane - It's funny, but my daughter has been in NYC for a few years and she's never been there either. She can't see it from her window though ;-)

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  8. This is on my TBR and it looks absolutely lovely! I'm so glad to see you enjoyed it.

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    1. Katherine - This is just the thing for when you want a short, sweet read.

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  9. Replies
    1. Patty - It was... and just the right length, too.

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  10. The title would have grabbed my attention right away. Sounds like a nice enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. Jama - The title alone made this sound like a book I would enjoy!

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  11. This book has been on my "to read" list at the library, but after reading your thoughts and some of the comments, I'm thinking about taking it off.

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    1. Vicki - It's so short, that I would recommend that you borrow it and give it a try.

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  12. My contrarian view is that I rarely find what I want in small bookstores ... I like to read on an e-reader (kindle, iPad, iPhone, or even a laptop). It keeps the luggage light on planes and other trips. And the selection is huge! But as I say, I seem to be marching to a different drummer.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Mae - I always being my loaded kindle when we travel, but do enjoy visiting smaller independents... they all seem to have a unique personality!

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  13. I enjoy our little indie bookshop, and have a backload of credit there for books I've turned in. But, will probably look for this one at the library (online)- Edward probably had some food ideas I might get inspiration from.

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    1. Claudia - Edward does have a few culinary tips to share, but I would recommend borrowing the book.

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  14. I also like supporting little indie bookstores. I haven't read this one.

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    1. Tina - I love visiting indie bookstores... wish we had more around here.

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  15. I love accidental bookish discoveries like these! This book sounds pretty good too. I haven't heard of it but would certainly pick it up if I stumbled across it too.

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    1. Athira - I suspect this one might start turning up at library sales next summer :)

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  16. I'm reading another foodie memoir - Stir - at the moment and enjoying it too. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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    1. Carole - Stir is on my wish list. Glad to hear you're enjoying it!

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  17. I'm with you - I love supporting indie book shops when I travel! This sounds like such a sweet book.

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    1. Iliana - It was... and hooray for indies!

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  18. I do enjoy reading foodie books.
    I get what he says about recipes bUT I'm not good without one

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    1. Marg - Neither am I. Definitely NEED my recipes!

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  19. I do enjoy independent bookstores-too bad the book was not great.

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    1. Esme - It was a good book, but not very memorable. Still an enjoyable read though.

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  20. I wish I could cook and not be tied to a piece of paper. I made a vow long ago to never leave a book store empty handed. I need to stop going into bookstores :>) But I have come across some really good reads while supporting indy stores too.

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    1. Debbie - I love looking at staff recommendations in idie bookstores.. have found some real winners. I need my recipes, too!

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  21. Can you even remember the last time you really did "need" to pick up a new book because you had nothing left to read?!

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