I'll be blunt: if you're interested in reading this book independent of the extraordinary recipes that punctuate each brief, anecdotal chapter, you're going to be sorely disappointed. Hesser's recipes indicate a serious talent in the kitchen, but as any sort of writer, she's consistently been sorely lacking. In essence, if what you want to find in this book is anything along the lines of chick lit, romance, humor, or the sensual, nuance-oriented genre "food writing," you're not going to find a satisfactory example of it here. Hesser's anecdotes revolve entirely around her, her glamorous life, her pet peeves and various dislikes and annoyances, and, as she has no gift for capturing the feel of a moment or drawing a character--all of the supporting characters in her book are thinly-etched portraits of her real-life friends and acquaintances--you're going to be sick and tired of her by the end of the book.
If, however, you're after a carefully selected, varied, and compelling collection of recipes that are, all things considered, fairly easily executed, this is your book. I've tried many of the recipes in it, and all have turned out well. Many of her recipes have high butter and/or olive oil requirements, but I've found that they work just as well with half or even a third of the required amounts--basically, anything she wants you to saute, you can do with FAR less grease, and you're better off, taste-and-health-wise, doing so. Stunners in this cookbook include the veal chops with sage (which are actually just as good made with much-cheaper lamb shoulder), the pork braised in milk and cream (quite an indulgence, so save for a rainy day), roasted guinea hen (just use a chicken, for the love of God), and the chocolate dump-it cake (follow this to the LETTER, or it will be a mess, but do it right, and it's perfect.)
Hesser's pretensions, unfortunately, have prevented her from writing a cookbook that is, both in terms of health and ingredients, usable for everyone. Trust me, though, no one will notice if you substitute regular table salt, ordinary olive oil, and plain old lemons.