Review of Craving London by Jessica Stone

This Confessions of an Incurable Romantic with an Insatiable Appetite had me interested as soon as I spotted the empty plate on the cover and read the words Insatiable Appetite. I love eating, especially sampling little dishes here and there and can never get enough of culinary discoveries so I immediately felt akin to the writer.
Turns out I might have focused on the wrong part of the subtitle.
This novel is very much more of a romantic autobiography of a lost girl in London, looking endlessly for love, than a real ode to food. And while there is nothing wrong with the novel, when you are into man struggle and love self-help books, I was less interested by it all than I had hoped. This is really a question of taste, perhaps this is more for fans of Sex in the City and Desperate housewife, thought it is very tame… admittedly I never saw any of those shows so I might be a bad judge. I would have enjoyed more about tapas, Cuban foods and scones, and less about boyfriend hunts and learning about yourself through relationship failures and cleanses.
I guess this is not the humour that talks to me either, I find self-depreciation as refreshingly and surprisingly funny as anyone, but I have little patience for women who desperately seek relationships and Mr Soul mate and think it’s someone else’s job to make them feel whole. So I was left leafing through rather quickly by the end to get to the good bits: that’s the recipes scattered about.
There is several nice recipes in the book, and admittedly I picked up the novel because I thought it was mainly a cookbook, which it isn’t really. I’m ok with that, I adored the novel “Like Water for Chocolate” and other similar ones, but maybe because I’m more into fiction, and perhaps because romance to me has little to do with the modern rather dismal and sex-crazed dating scene, I could not relate despite being the same age as the author. The message about self love is sweet, but I’m not into self help books. I really was not the target.
I’m just glad that inside those pages we find tasty British classics like brownies, cheese melts, banana pancakes and a curry of course that reads nicely. There is about 10 recipes that are closely related to the adventures of our author hero. I might have been greedy, but I admit that I had hoped for more Cuban foods too, since Ms Stone is Cuban in origin. Maybe in her next book?

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