Hassan Haji grew up in India and was the son of a very ambitious man. Some of his ambitions come to prey upon his family and a terrible event occurs that drives the family out of India. They wonder for a bit before settling in France and opening a restaurant. Not everyone is happy they are opening a restaurant in France, however, and one critically acclaimed chef declares war on them. The Hundred-Foot Journey is a tale that spans years and countries, from India to Paris.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is an interesting read. Many of the descriptions are quite lush, particularly of the food and the kitchen. I could practically smell the spices and my stomach rumbled while I was reading. It's a very quick read and an interesting glimpse into the competitive nature of the culinary arts. But it's also a bit odd in that I didn't emotionally connect at all with the characters. Some really awful things happen, but the narrator seems overall quite detached. In other words, while there are some lovely descriptions in some places, there are is also just some straight narration in others. This prevented me from ever feeling really invested in the book or story.
Having said that, though, if you enjoy books about food I suspect you'll enjoy this one. Some dishes are magnificently described and some of the situations are a bit humorous and interesting.
Source of Book: ARC provided from publicist
Publisher: Scribner (Simon & Schuster)
If this sounds good to you, you're in luck! I have five copies to give away to US residents. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form. I'll choose the winners next Tuesday, July 13.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais