I was first introduced to the exquisite writing of Erica Bauermeister in her first novel The School of Essential Ingredients (my review) a few years ago. The novel was so beautifully written and the characters so endearing that I was left yearning for more. My wish came true in her follow up The Lost Art of Mixing where we revisit some past characters and meet a few new ones. The Lost Art of Mixing is a novel of love, loss, food, endings and beginnings. It is another beautiful novel by Erica Bauermeister that had me utterly lost in its pages.
In The Lost Art of Mixing I was happy to be able to delve further into the lives of a few of my favorite characters especially Lillian, Isabelle, and Chloe. I loved Lillian in the first book but in this book we see a more personal side to her. Not only is she running her restaurant but she’s been seeing Tom and despite some misgivings in the relationship things are about to change for the both of them. Then there is Chloe who seemed so lost but is now finding her way through friendships and her love of cooking. One of my favorite characters who touched my heart was Isabelle. Isabelle is losing her memories because of Alzheimer’s and this novel finds her condition worsening. She still has memories that come to her at different times because of something she’ll see or taste which leads us to how we so often relate our memories to scent of something cooking or how it tasted. Despite all that Isabelle has going on with her memory she still manages to be her spunky self and try to set people on the track towards the lives she thinks they should have.
What I love most about The Lost Art of Mixing and The School of Essential Ingredients is how food brings people together whether in memories or in person. People come together at Lillian’s cooking classes and friendships are formed over a plate of good food; some that blossom into more. Erica writes in such a descriptive way that she leaves you feeling as though you can smell and taste the food; you can feel the heat from the kitchen – the sharpness of the cheese or the tartness of a lemon. It is simply amazing to immerse yourself in one of her novels and I can promise you will come away from reading it feeling enriched.
I would not hesitate to recommend The Lost Art of Mixing. I do think think the book can stand on its own but you would be missing out on so much history if you don’t read The School of Essential Ingredients as well. I actually own the audiobook of The School of Essential Ingredients and listened to it before reading The Lost Art of Mixing and I’m glad I did. It reminded me of all the people I had grown to love in the first book and continued to love in the second one. The Lost Art of Mixing is another amazing novel from the extremely talented Erica Bauermeister.
The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister is on tour with TLC Book Tours so be sure to check in on the other tour stops and see what others think of the book. You can also find Erica on her website and Facebook and your own copy of The Lost Art of Mixing can be pre-ordered here in the US and here in Canada. As The Lost Art of Mixing does not release until January 2013 I will be holding off on a giveaway until then but keep an eye out because that will be one that you sure won’t want to miss out on!
Source: Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours and the Publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.