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.
"O'Reilly's keen ear for the neighborhood swells lends a charming, timeless quality to the tale. Light comedy and good food make a winning combination." (Kirkus)
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A Mouthwatering Comfort Listen
Vocally, we experience every emotion Angelina experiences - warmth and love, a wrenching grief, sadness mixed with determination that turns to hope, and then delight as she builds a very different but once again happy life for herself. This takes place over time with the help of family, friends and Food.I loved the descriptions of the recipes, the memories of family they brought to Angelina and/or the reasons why she would create a new recipe. The details about the cooking and the meals plus the reactions of those who ate them let me live vicariously and it's a good thing or I would have gained ten pounds just listening! If you've ever watched the Food Network and been intrigued by all the small things that make a great dish then Angelina's Bachelors is a must listen for the food alone.
I don't know about an exact moment but from the point where Angelina uses her amazing cooking abilities as therapy and then the book moves forward as she also uses those abilities to make ends meet, while filling a spot in several different men's lives I was hooked and couldn't stop listening. It was an added bonus that Angelina's Bachelors moves at a fast pace with something new around every corner as the cast of characters builds and then grows together with each artfully created and mouth watering meal.
Yes, and she is in top form with Angelina's Bachelors. She gives each character throughout the book a beautifully defined voice, which is impressive considering the fact that there are multiple main characters, each with a vivid personality that shows through when they speak. I particularly enjoyed hearing the Italian accents prevalent throughout the story.
I cried, I laughed, I fell in love with the characters and probably felt every emotion in between. It's a feel good story by the end which is why it will be an enjoyable comfort listen for me.
An engrossing, wonderfully written, book brought vibrantly alive with Xe Sands' excellent narration. What more could you want from an audiobook? Loved it!
- Blee Medel