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The Glass Kitchen  By  cover art

The Glass Kitchen

By: Linda Francis Lee
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
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Publisher's Summary

Three sisters move from Texas to New York City to open a restaurant in this novel about food, family, and finding true love from the author of Emily and Einstein.

Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan... and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets 12-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream.

©2014 Linda Francis Lee. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Published by arrangement with St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

What listeners say about The Glass Kitchen

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Glass Kitchen is one of my favorites

Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee is one of my favorite books, I may have liked The Glass Kitchen even more. In fact, when I finished reading I wanted to start over at the beginning, just to make sure I didn't miss anything.

The Glass Kitchen is the sweet and poignant story of two young girls recovering from the loss of their mother, but it's mostly the story of twelve year old Ariel coming to terms with the accident that she believes is her fault, she also believes she's disappearing.

It's the story of Portia, whose husband left her for her best friend. Portia has the ability to know what food to make to heal the people around her, she inherited this ability from her grandmother. After her husband dumps her, she moves from Texas to New York to the garden apartment left to her by her great-aunt. Her two sisters sold their parts of the apartment to Gabriel (father of Ariel)and he wants the last section of the building.

This is a book of family, failure, success, and love. It's also a book about the healing powers of food.

I read this book when it first came out, so knew I would enjoy the audiobook. My only complaint (and it's a tiny one) is that Gabriel didn't sound like I imagined him.

14 people found this helpful

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Hot Mess from Otherwise Good Author and Narrator

This book is speechlessly bad. Both the author and the narrator have credentials that are worthy of a preorder double digit dollar book that they completely tarnished with this work. I can’t believe how two great talents fell so badly.

I enjoyed Lee’s previous book that had a bit of whimsy, leading me to look forward to this seemingly fanciful fun read. The author had a potentially decent story idea that she swirled to absolutely nowhere. The protagonist and her man have richly quirky families that were given no banter, no role, and no back story and assume the role of cardboard dummies. Dialog, drama or interaction with them could have created the character depth that this was sorely lacking. The author did give one character, the little girl, what was needed. Her plight kept me to the end. If only she had given the others equal attention. Portia had a little spunk on her in the beginning then fell flat. Her sass ended up being a handful of sassy come backs. She certainly wasn’t given any interesting conversations, for she has NONE with her love interest. These two don’t have conversations, just sex. Not that good sex you have WITH someone, these two have odd nonverbal sex AT each other in the middle of the night. The little dialog attributed to Gabriel is ‘eye roll back in your head’ awful.

The entire body is over flowingly abundant with adjectives and adverbs. Metaphors and similes are laughable they are so silly. Some … like the phrase that he was as hot and creamy as her hot chocolate made me laugh out loud. If Lee is going to write like this – she needs to put Fabio on the cover of her books.

After checking out the shocking amount of favorable reviews on Good Reads and Amazon I am wondering if the terrible male voices used by Julia Whelan during this audio rendition added to what I consider a horrible train wreck. I have no clue to what she was thinking when she chose this poor voice as that of ALL the males in this book but, I am betting she was trying to give Gabriel her best impersonation of Battoe’s rendition of Christian Grey. I have listened to a number of Whelan’s other narrations which I enjoyed immensely. She has done some very believable male voices in previous books – The Witness, Gone Girl to name two. This ebbs on unlistenable.

I won't mention the multiple unrealisting events that happen, the major infractions and life changing events that happen then are completely forgotten on following pages, for to do so could give too much away.

Thankfully, the recipes are saved to the back matter and not read within the text. Does someone seriously listen to eleven minutes of someone reading recipes? What am I saying, I kept reading for 10+ hours longer than I should have.

11 people found this helpful

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I was pulled right in from the start!

I'm not one to write reviews and I should since I do own nearly 500 books on audible. But, there was something different about this book that I could not stop listening to it. I like a book with many characters with different lives with different everyday problems and some that last for years and hidden ones as well. Just when I knew I had it figured out, I was found to be wrong. This story could be a real life story, easily. Well it does seem to have a bit of magic in it. All I can say is, the characters are just so good, a well written story with love, everyday life events, future, disappointments made right. Please Linda Francis Lee, keep writing those wonderful stories.

9 people found this helpful

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My Least Favorite From This Author

I loved, loved, loved The Devil in the Junior League. Enjoyed the Ex-Debutante. Emily & Einstein was different, but engaging & enjoyable. The Glass Kitchen? I'll finish it, but it's a disappointment in comparison. Way too much of a bodice-ripping romance novel, not at all like her previous works. I end up FFing through graphic love scenes. I wish the focus had been more on "the Knowing." I feel like the author didn't know how to develop that central part of the story, so the book got padded with a lot of cheesy romance novel stuff instead.

8 people found this helpful

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Loved this story

I discovered this book through the library's online book club. By the end of the week's readings I was intrigued and bought it. It turned out to be a truly delightful book. It had everything in it I was looking for from friendship to love to a great story line you will really enjoy this book if you read it.

8 people found this helpful

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disappointment

I tried to like this slow moving book. 18 chapters in and I can do not more. Hate that I wasted a credit on this one.

7 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

The story is "ok" as is the writing quality. A bit over the top with the intimate scenes considering the theme. A lot of trite passages...some funny, some over done. The performance is lacking with regards to the 'male' voices. The female voices are read with good Texas and New York accents. I would have preferred to read the book rather than listen....perhaps on a beach with a bunch of girlfriends.

5 people found this helpful

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DID NOT LIKE IT!

I had hopes for this story but it was a flop . Would hesitate to get another book buy this author. Try Marcia Willett Rachel Hore or Kate Morton instead.

4 people found this helpful

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Summer reading

If you could sum up The Glass Kitchen in three words, what would they be?

Light, easy, fun

What did you like best about this story?

upbeat, sweet, easy to listen to. Perfect for a beach read

Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan – was your favorite?

main character

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

no

Any additional comments?

no

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing Mess from a previously good author.

What disappointed you about The Glass Kitchen?

This story is flat and the characters are one dimensional caricature of southern women and hard unloving New Yorkers. , the addition of Magical Realism wasn't the worst example I have read, but it follows in the foot steps a little bit to much towards Sarah Addison Allen. I have been a fan of previous works, The Devil in the Junior League and The Ex-Debutante were both funny and relatable, the women although flawed were strong and the stories were built up around them. It reminds me of a poorly written harlequin novel.

What aspect of Julia Whelan’s performance would you have changed?

The men all sounded like versions of batman, they were laughable and stagnate. The women sounded very similar to each other which was disappointing.

What character would you cut from The Glass Kitchen?

Portia's sisters, they added very little to no substance to the book.

Any additional comments?

What I learned: Women are weak and easily manipulated and controlled by men. Men are greedy, uncaring cheaters. Flat characters.

4 people found this helpful