Publication Date: January 9, 2024
After a day of unrivaled disappointments, a promising young chef finds every bite of food suddenly tastes bitter. To save her career, she travels to the Pacific Northwest to reconnect with her estranged mom, and discovers a family legacy she never suspected in this delicious novel from the bestselling author of The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie.
American chef Georgia May Jackson has one goal—to run her own restaurant in Paris. After a grueling decade working in Parisian kitchens, she is on the cusp of success. But in one disastrous night, Georgia loses her sous-chef position, her French boyfriend, and her sense of taste! Renowned for her refined palate and daring use of bold flavors to create remarkable dishes, Georgia is devastated to discover her culinary gift has simply…vanished.
When she receives a surprising invitation from her estranged mother, Georgia flees to a small island near Seattle hoping the visit will help her regain her spark in the kitchen. As she tentatively reconnects with her mom, a free-spirited hippie eager to make up for her past mistakes, Georgia realizes there is something about the enigmatic island she just cannot piece together. Good luck charms start appearing in the oddest places. Her neighbor is a puzzlingly antagonistic (and annoyingly handsome) oyster farmer. And her mom keeps hinting at a mysterious family legacy.
With the clock ticking and time running out to win her dream job in Paris, Georgia begins to unravel some astonishing secrets that make her wonder if the true recipe for a charmed life might look—and taste—very different than she ever imagined.
Georgia May Jackson wants to run her own kitchen in Paris. It’s a dream the Texas native has had since she was ten years old. However, her culinary expertise is overshadowed by an emotional explosion that threatens to ruin all her hard work.
Her mentor advises her to leave Paris and take some time to regain her spark. Unbeknownst to everyone, Georgia’s taste buds are rendering everything bitter. Scrambling for a lifeline comes in the form of an invitation from her mother, who left the family when Georgia was a little girl.
Recipe for a Charmed Life is much more than a simple story about a woman who wants to achieve a dream. Author Rachel Linden manages to take all those wonderful feelings packed into a loved one’s embrace and translates them into a written hug.
Georgia’s visit with her mother on San Juan Island serves as a pivotal point. Not only does Georgia get answers about the past, but she learns more about what her true desires are.
As a reader, I loved how Georgia incorporates Julia Child as her patron saint, often mulling about what advice Julia would give. While Georgia nails all the technical aspects of a top chef, it’s the rediscovery of her inner spark that leads her to happiness.
Recipe for a Charmed Life delivers a deliciously written story about a woman’s efforts to find happiness.
Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker. Rachel lives with her family on an island in the Pacific Northwest, where she enjoys creating stories about hope, courage, and connection, with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.