Mme. Proust and the Kosher Kitchen

Mme. Proust and the Kosher Kitchen

Book - 2003
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Random House, Inc.
In her enchanting and much-anticipated debut novel, Kate Taylor entwines the stories of three women to create a haunting and glorious tale that spans the twentieth century.

In turn-of-the-century Paris, Jeanne Proust, a cultivated Jewish woman married to a Catholic doctor, writes in her diaries of personal and global events. The Dreyfus Affair, tomorrow’s menu, the building of the Panama Canal, and her family’s health are duly noted in the precise retelling of her family’s daily life. But her most constant theme is her son Marcel. Plagued by grandiose social aspirations, unfulfilled literary ambitions, and chronic asthma, Marcel will not settle down to bourgeois life.

Mme. Proust’s diary is increasingly interrupted by its translator, Marie Prévost, who is poring over these documents in the Bibliothèque Nationale. Marie’s obsession with the diaries and their translation is refuge from her own disappointment, an unrequited love for the enigmatic Max.

The final strand of this sophisticated novel tells the story of Sarah Bensimon, a twelve-year-old Parisian refugee sent to Canada to escape the Nazis. As a young adult she returns to Paris to discover that her parents have perished, but closing the door on her past proves difficult and back in Toronto she settles into an uneasy womanhood. Alienated from her doctor husband and teenage son, she seeks refuge in her kitchen, where she recreates a kosher version of classic French cuisine.

Mme. Proust and the Kosher Kitchen is a compassionate novel, extraordinary in its elegance and passion.

Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2003
ISBN: 9780385658348
0385658346
Branch Call Number: TAY
Characteristics: 414 p

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WVMLStaffPicks Dec 23, 2014

In this compassionate and elegant novel the author entwines the stories of three women to create a haunting tale that spans the twentieth century. Kate Taylor is the drama critic for The Globe & Mail and this is her first novel.

Didn't read it - may try another time. I tried again but didn't go beyond reading a few of the lines. Try again much later?

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