Review of “The Way Life Should Be” by Christina Baker Kline

This book falls into the category of cooking-school-find-yourself-romance books, with a Maine setting and a lot of recipes for Italian dishes.


Angela Russo, 33, is fired from her job as an events planner in New York City, and on a whim, packs up her things and drives to Maine. She had always been intrigued by the idea of a romantic cottage on the Maine coast, and had even initiated a real-life relationship with a guy she discovered through an online dating service calling himself “MaineCatch.” She initially goes to stay with “MaineCatch” (who is actually Richard Saunders), on a small Maine island called Mount Desert. But Rich is a “player” who is not really interested in anything serious with Angela. Now homeless, jobless, and without romantic prospects, she gets assistance from a local barista, Flynn, who gives her a job and helps her find a place to live.

Angela hadn’t been all that attached to her dad and stepmom, but had a close relationship with her Italian grandmother, Nonna, who taught her to prepare food with love and skill. This knowledge serves her well in Maine, after she starts preparing treats for Flynn to sell in the shop. The customers pour in, and Flynn helps Angela set up cooking classes. Thus, Angela gradually finds new friends, a new purpose to life, and maybe even love.

Discussion: If you like cooking and/or Italian food, you are bound to enjoy this book, which includes a number of recipes. I also appreciated the fact that Flynn, who is gay, is not a caricature, but just a regular very nice guy.

Rating: 3.5/5

Published in paperback by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2014 (originally published in hardback in 2007)


About rhapsodyinbooks

We're into reading, politics, and intellectual exchanges.
This entry was posted in Book Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Review of “The Way Life Should Be” by Christina Baker Kline

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    My book club is discussing this book tonight.

  2. A Maine setting plus recipes sounds irresistible to me!

  3. Beth F says:

    Ha!! You had me at the first sentence!

  4. Heather says:

    I’ve enjoyed the two previous novels of Kline’s I’ve read, so this one might be a good choice for me. I can’t resist foodie stories!

  5. Carole says:

    I liked Orphan Train so I’ll give this one a go. Cheers from Carole’s Chatter!

  6. Janel says:

    I have this book, but haven’t read it yet. I love most stories that have a strong foodie element to them.

  7. This sounds interesting. I love books that have lots of food talk and the premise sounds like something right up my alley. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.