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Review of The Kitchen Front

Hard to believe that today marks 80 years since D-Day. The Normandy Invasion was a definite turning point for the Allies during World War II. To commemorate that remarkable feat I'll be reviewing books connected to World War II during the Thursdays of June. First off, something fun!

More About The Kitchen Front

Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses: The Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is holding a cooking contest—and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the contest would present a crucial chance to change their lives.

For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For a lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.

These four women are giving the competition their all—even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together only serve to break it apart?

More About Jennifer Ryan

Jennifer Ryan is the author of National Bestseller THE CHILBURY LADIES' CHOIR, THE SPIES OF SHILLING LANE, THE KITCHEN FRONT, THE WEDDING DRESS SEWING CIRCLE, and THE UNDERGROUND LIBRARY. Her writing has featured in Literary Hub, Moms Don’t Have Time to Write, The Daily Mail, The Irish Times, The Express, BBC Online, YOU Magazine, The Simple Things Magazine, and Good Reading Magazine. Previously a book editor with The Economist, DK, and the BBC, she moved from London to Washington, DC after marrying, and she now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children. Her novels are inspired by her grandmother's tales of the war in Britain.

My Thoughts About The Kitchen Front

When my mom mentioned that she couldn’t put down The Kitchen Front, I decided to give it a try. As a lover of historical fiction, especially World War II, AND cooking shows (Spring Baking Championship!) this book was a great fit for me.

The plot is built around a several week cooking contest tracing the story of four contestants from varying backgrounds. It resulted in a page-turner because I was anxious to find out which cook won each portion of the contest. I know why my mom finished this book in two days! Even if you don’t like cooking, you’ll love the drama each contestant is dealing with – as well as a little romance. This is a perfect book if you're heading on vacation.

My mom was blown away by the complicated dishes (recipes included) that these women

made in their 1940s war kitchens while dealing with rationing...and bombs.

Minor Spoiler Alert: Do you know what was on the list of foods the English government was encouraging people to eat? Whale! Apparently it tasted pretty nasty.

A Little Extra

Ryan has some fun giveaways on her website if you're a lover of World War II historical fiction. And, after you finish The Kitchen Front , you might give another one of her books a try. I read The Chilbury Ladies' Choir but she has several World War II historical fiction books featuring everything from bridal dresses to spies/mothers (aren't they the same thing?) to libraries.


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