The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry tells the story of Ginny Selvagio, a young woman with Asperger’s syndrome who loves cooking and lives with her parents. When her parents die she finds out that she can call on a spirit by cooking a recipe that belonged to them. It sounds cheesy, and this premise made me consider not reading this book but the plot works so well that it almost seems possible that something like that could happen. I promise, it is not lame or cheesy and don’t let that part scare you off.
This book was absolutely fabulous. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the main character/narrator has Asperger’s syndrome and McHenry does a wonderful job writing Ginny Selvagio’s character in a very authentic voice. It was a very unique writing style, and while it took me a little bit to get into the rhythm of it once I did I really enjoyed it.
It’s a very touching story but it’s not sappy , and there are some sweet and funny parts as well that balance the story out. It’s an interesting story with some twists and there are a lot of sub plots going on at the same time. There are a lot of points to keep you interested in the story; the ghosts, the house, Ginny’s independence and whether she can manage to live on her own. I thought the author used Asperger’s syndrome in a very thoughtful and respectful way in this book. Ginny never turns into a stereotype, and her syndrome is never played for laughs or used cheaply as I have seen in other books.
There’s a variety of well written characters in The Kitchen Daughter- Ginny, her sister Amanda, Gert and David. They are all different and the relationships between the other characters and Ginny add something special to the book.
The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry has a touching and thoughtful plot, varied and well thought out characters and will keep you engrossed in the book until the end. I highly recommend picking up this book and would give it 5/5.