Recipe for Persuasion

Recipe for Persuasion

A Novel

Book - 2020 | First edition
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"Chef Ashna Raje thinks that joining the cast of Cooking with the Stars will help save her restaurant and prove to her mother that she's not a failure, but when she's paired with her first love, Rico Silva, the kitchen begins to heat up."--Publisher description.
Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy in order to save her restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn't a complete screw up. When she's asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, what's the worst that could happen? Rico Silva, that's what. He was her first love, and ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life. A FIFA winning soccer star, Rico isn't happy to be paired up with Ashna either. The only silver lining is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he's definitely over her. When social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry, will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak-- or a recipe for persuasion? -- adapted from back cover
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2020]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062839077
Characteristics: viii, 433, 6 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Austen, Jane 1775-1817 Persuasion


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RandomLibrarian Jul 18, 2020

Review Excerpt: "Content warning: This book has ALL the triggers, and I’m a bit worried I’ve forgotten one, but here goes. Abusive/manipulative/neglectful/controlling parents. Alcoholism. Suicide of a parent (witnessed by the child – off page, but remembered rather vividly). Forced marriage and rape (off-page). Infidelity. Hero is orphaned at an early age and is not acknowledged by his father’s family. Plane crash. People who stress you out just showing up and letting themselves into your apartment to stay. Obviously, PTSD and panic attacks abound, but that seems entirely reasonable, don’t you think?

Now, this blurb is not precisely inaccurate (though in fact, Rico deliberately goes on the show in order to get some closure with Ashna), but if you take a look at that and think, ‘ooh, Jane Austen, cooking show, romantic comedy, own voices, this is just the fun, fluffy romance I need to get me through iso’, you will be in for a nasty shock. I mean, you saw that list of content warnings above. 'Recipe for Persuasion' is many things (including, yes, a rather adept retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion set on a cooking show), but a fluffy romantic comedy it is not.

What it is, is an intelligent, complex story about secrets and family and relationships. The main story takes place in the present, but it is firmly rooted in the events of twelve and of thirty years earlier, and the ways the various characters reacted to them at the time and since. It takes most of the book for us to learn precisely what did happen in the past, though one starts to get an increasingly horrified inkling pretty early on.

In short, 'Recipe for Persuasion' is a good book, but it’s not the book the blurb leads you to expect (and WHY do marketers do this, WHY WHY WHY it can’t possibly help a book in the long run???).

And I don’t want you to think that 'Recipe for Persuasion' is without humour – there are some lovely one-liners and banter as the story progresses, and there is a certain amount of things-going-disastrously-but-humorously-wrong in the context of the cooking show that reminded me of that slightly-slapstick sort of romantic or musical comedy film genre (and I suspect that’s where the rom-com marketing came from), but the overall tone of the book felt pretty dark to me, mostly because of the fact that the inside of Ashna’s head is a pretty distressing place to live."



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