Monday, July 1, 2013

Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen

Despite the title, this book's not about food; it's really a memoir about growing up and traveling and figuring out who you are ... but there's also a good bit of food, too (and recipes).

Christensen had an uneven childhood with some rough family dynamics: her parents divorce and her dad's involvement in the family falls away. They struggle through hard times. Even as an adult Christensen has a tense, volatile relationship with her sisters and mother.

Throughout her life she travels in an almost accidental, haphazard way facilitated by her extended family's ties in the anthroposophist movement and Waldorf schools; by becoming a nanny or cook or camp counselor she spends extended time away from home and around the globe.

She experiences many styles of food and many kinds of cooking, picking up bits here and there. She's chubby then thin, fat and then willowy again - her relationships with food are as uncertain as her home life.

It's an interesting story, and well written. I kept rooting for her to get her life straightened around and find happiness - it's not a tragic story, more a relatable tale of an unconventional family and a self-described late bloomer.

I would recommend this to those who also enjoyed Jeannette Walls' "The Glass Castle."

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