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4.0 out of 5 stars missing the point?
I do have to agree with previous reviews on some issues.
Yes, the (British edition) title and the chick-lit cover don't do it any favours. I took it off a library shelf and those, plus the blurb on the back cover, nearly made me put it back, but then I read a paragraph or two at random.

The characters aren't meant to be deep, they just carry the story...
Published on 24 Jun 2011 by W. Chappell

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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but lacking depth
This novel is about a group of people taking a cookery class at a restaurant on Monday nights, when the restaurant is closed. Each chapter concentrates on one member of the group. It's an enjoyable read, but I felt it was lacking something. There was no depth to the characterisations at all, more a matter of fact telling of their story. The central character is...
Published on 23 April 2010 by Nicola


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4.0 out of 5 stars missing the point?, 24 Jun 2011
By 
W. Chappell - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I do have to agree with previous reviews on some issues.
Yes, the (British edition) title and the chick-lit cover don't do it any favours. I took it off a library shelf and those, plus the blurb on the back cover, nearly made me put it back, but then I read a paragraph or two at random.

The characters aren't meant to be deep, they just carry the story along a bit - forget them - concentrate on the words.
There are some lovely little phrases that stopped me in my tracks: "Sometimes our greatest gifts grow from what we are not given"
The food descriptions are just amazing and made me want to shout "yes, yes that's IT"

This is a book for cooks and lovers of good food.
I wanted to keep this but it has to go back to the library so I've just ordered a copy from Amazon - the American edition with the more appropriate title and cover.
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2.0 out of 5 stars No Depth, 25 July 2010
By 
Allhug (Newcatle upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
I didn't do enough research before beginning this book. I had heard the buzz around a book entitled 'School of Essential Ingredients' and the cover gave me to believe that this may be a really intelligent sensuous and poetic novel about food and relationships - I expected real depth. (...I know, I know - never judge a book by its cover! lesson learnt - I found a copy of the same book but under the title 'The Monday Night Cooking School' and the decidedly 'chick lit' cover should have been my first warning that this book was not going to be what I expected!).

I'm disappointed. I think the idea of a collection of short stories melding into a 'whole' would have been better than to write this as a novel. As it is, I don't think that the characters were rounded out or given any depth. Their thoughts and feelings didn't resonate or draw me in and each story within the novel was for me 'unfinished' or 'rushed', they weren't connected very expertly and nothing was revisited or tied up properly.

I enjoyed the idea of food as a mirror of emotion and a healing force and some of the descriptions surrounding this aspect of the novel were delightful. But overall, this book was not what it ought to have been.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but lacking depth, 23 April 2010
By 
Nicola "nicola_in_southyorks" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This novel is about a group of people taking a cookery class at a restaurant on Monday nights, when the restaurant is closed. Each chapter concentrates on one member of the group. It's an enjoyable read, but I felt it was lacking something. There was no depth to the characterisations at all, more a matter of fact telling of their story. The central character is Lillian, who runs the class, but we have only a very small look at her story right at the beginning. In a way, this is a book of short stories linked by the same characters.

It's still worth reading in my opinion, but I think the book needed more warmth and for the stories to be pulled together a bit more tightly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely delightful, 10 April 2010
A delightful book. Take away with you on holiday or spend an evening or two in the garden. Just perfect.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful book, 19 July 2012
I found this book extremely disappointing. Insipid and flat, the characters had no substance, other than cliche after cliche of predictable pap. And what's with all the similes that make no sense? "...inhaling the warm smell of corn and melting butter, soft as a mother's hand moving across the back of her almost sleeping child..." More often than not when reading this book I found myself both confused and nauseous.

This is a fine book if you have a low IQ, don't mind being patronized, and don't want to read a book of any substance.
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