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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enchanting and humurous
This is a wonderful novel about 7 sisters growing up in the South of the Netherlands in a staunch Catholic small town. They are trying to fend for themselves after their parents die and leave them a pastry bakery. The story has been presented with a light flair for words and a taste for humorously portraying the usual hopes and dreams young people have.
This was one...
Published on 10 Dec. 2002 by monique donahue

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dreary. A real waste of time.
I notice that this book has been compared to both `Like Water for Chocolate' and `Chocolat' which really surprises me, because I adored those two books and really struggled to finish this one.

I had high hopes that this would be a book with beautiful imagery and incredible descriptions of food- but it was instead a dull piece of fiction with what could have...
Published on 16 Nov. 2011 by Nicola F (Nic)


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enchanting and humurous, 10 Dec. 2002
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This review is from: The House of the Seven Sisters: A Novel of Food and Family (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful novel about 7 sisters growing up in the South of the Netherlands in a staunch Catholic small town. They are trying to fend for themselves after their parents die and leave them a pastry bakery. The story has been presented with a light flair for words and a taste for humorously portraying the usual hopes and dreams young people have.
This was one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read. Being a fan of the South American writing style prominent in Isabel Allendes and Laura Esquivels work I was pleasantly surprised to read a similar kind of enchanting piece of fiction on the development of a family of seven sisters now set close to home in the traditional social patchwork of the Southern Netherlands. Being Dutch myself I read the book in Dutch and am now anxiously awaiting publication in English so that I can read the book to my husband and can enjoy it all over again. If you have seen the movie 'Amelie' and liked it you will also love this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of family and shattered dreams, 15 July 2007
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
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When Martha and her six sisters are abandoned by their father, they have little choice but to continue working in the family bakery so they can survive. As they grow older each of the sisters will fall in love, or try to escape the harshness of their life, and each have their dreams shattered.

Although this could make for dreary reading, the novel is in fact full of hope and emphasises the importance of family. The imagery is, at times, incredible.

This is an unusual book, very much in the same style as Laura Esquivel's 'Like water for Chocolate' and Joanne Harris's 'Chocolat.'

Really enjoyable, I deducted one star because the only fault I could find was that some aspects of the story were passed over a little quickly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dreary. A real waste of time., 16 Nov. 2011
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Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I notice that this book has been compared to both `Like Water for Chocolate' and `Chocolat' which really surprises me, because I adored those two books and really struggled to finish this one.

I had high hopes that this would be a book with beautiful imagery and incredible descriptions of food- but it was instead a dull piece of fiction with what could have been interesting little sub-plots glossed over far too quickly and too many characters that never really felt true to life. I didn't care about a single one of them or what happened to them and the ending of this novel felt very rushed- though by that point I was actually past caring if I'm honest.

The book centres on the lives of seven sisters told across thirty-odd years but is not structured in a linear fashion and shifts all over the place to various episodes in the lives of the sisters at random points in time, which is incredibly irritating. A linear structure would have made for more involved reading, at least on my part. The narrative is also told from the point of view of the daughter of one of the sisters- but she remains a bit of a non-entity and I found it hard to focus on anything interesting about her. Her `voice' is also a bit pretentious and fanciful for my liking- though this could be put down to the translation of the story from Dutch.

The plot itself is basically a recap of the relationships between the sisters themselves- for when their other relationships fall apart (for whatever reason and they always do) they can always return home to the family bakery and make tarts, forsaking any other interest that they may have had in their lives to keep the family business afloat. Oh joy. How utterly depressing! Bleak is not the word.

It seems I'm in the minority in really disliking this novel but I really cannot recommend this book. Maybe for me, it all just got lost in translation- but I completely fail to see what is so wonderful about it.
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The House of the Seven Sisters: A Novel of Food and Family
The House of the Seven Sisters: A Novel of Food and Family by Elle Eggels (Hardcover - Dec. 2002)
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