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Angelina's Bachelors by Brian O'Reilly

Saturday, July 30, 2011
Sometimes the shortest distance between two people is the length of a kitchen table. . . .
Far too young to be a widow, Angelina D’Angelo suddenly finds herself facing a life without her beloved husband, Frank. Late one night shortly after the funeral, she makes her way down to the kitchen and pours all of her grief and anger into the only outlet she has left—her passion for cooking. In a frenzy of concentration and swift precision, she builds layer upon layer of thick, rich lasagna, braids loaves of yeasty bread, roasts plump herb-rubbed chicken; she makes so much food that she winds up delivering the spoils to the neighbors in her tight-knit Italian community in South Philadelphia.
Retiree Basil Cupertino, who has just moved in with his kindly sister across the street, is positively smitten with Angelina’s food. In a stroke of good fortune, Basil offers Angelina (not only husbandless but unemployed) a job cooking for him—two meals a day, six days a week, in exchange for a handsome salary. Soon, word of her irresistible culinary prowess spreads and she finds herself cooking for seven bachelors—and in the process discovers the magical power of food to heal, to bring people together . . . and maybe even to provide a second chance at love.
Filled to the brim with homemade warmth, Angelina’s Bachelors is a sweet tale of overcoming grief, redefining family, and following your heart—through food.

Good Reads Summary

This novel is a perfect read for any season anywhere.  The author, Brian O'Reilly, is a creator and executive producer of Food Network's Dinner: Impossible among many other accomplishments.  His abilities shine through in this novel-containing recipes and descriptions of the main character baking and cooking. 

The main character, Angelina, will connect with the reader within the first few pages.  Newly widowed, Angelina expresses her anger and sadness through her baking and cooking.  She strikes good fortune when Bail Cupertino hears of her amazing feats in the kitchen and hires her to cook for him.  She meets several men, including two possible love interests (Jerry and Guy), in search of her cooking after the word spreads even further of her skills.  Angelina has several shocks during the novel, some mediocre and some very good, that the reader will be happy to experience with her.  Angelina is a kind, caring, active character who the reader is sure to enjoy reading about.  The secondary characters, with their quirks, are just as fun to get to know.  This novel contains recipes with steps of how to make the dishes in every chapter-many that even an unskilled baker/cooker could try his/her hand at.  This novel is recommended for adults who enjoy novels with a strong theme (cooking/baking) and fiction.

4 Stars