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Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook: A…
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Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook: A Novel (edició 2020)

de Celia Rees (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
8512252,773 (3.75)1
Membre:Mrs.DuBois
Títol:Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook: A Novel
Autors:Celia Rees (Autor)
Informació:William Morrow Paperbacks (2020), 512 pages
Col·leccions:Personal library
Valoració:**
Etiquetes:historical fiction, cold war, arc, netgalley, 2021

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Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook de Celia Rees

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I was intrigued with the idea of a historical fiction book set during the Cold War but unfortunately this book didn’t live up to its potential. The twists and turns of spy novels were there but it was often tedious, and I was not able to build empathy for the characters leaving the plot to fall flat. I received this book as an advanced review copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. ( )
  Mrs.DuBois | Mar 25, 2021 |
There are tons of books set in World War II but not many set in the immediate period after the war. Yes, as this book shows, it is just as ripe a period for literature as the war years.

Edith Graham is a single school teacher who lived in Coventry during World War II. As the unmarried sister she was expected to continue to live with her mother and take care of her. The family was most upset when they discovered that she had taken a posting in Germany with the British Control Commission helping to get the education system restarted in Germany. At least that was her cover story; she was also recruited by her cousin Leo who was with MI6 to learn as much as she could about Nazis who were in hiding. Leo was particularly interested in their mutual friend Kurt von Stabenow who had gone to Oxford before the war and become friendly with Leo and more than friendly with Edith. Kurt had trained as a doctor and so was an asset to the Nazi extermination and experimentation process. Edith had been devastated when she went to visit him before the war and learned that Kurt was engaged to a Prussian countess. On a later trip she met Kurt's wife, Elizabeth, and to her surprise rather liked her. Leo thought that if Edith could find Elizabeth then she would lead them to Kurt. Dori, another friend of Edith's who had been a spy during the war, also wanted to find von Stabenow because she thought he was responsible for the deaths of a number of women spies who were caught during the war. Dori wants Kurt brought to justice but Leo on behalf of the British government wants to recruit him to work in research. So everyone is using Edith for their own ends and she has mixed feelings about that. Nevertheless she is more successful than an amateur could be expected to be which draws her into danger. The ending caught me completely by surprise.

The recipes and menus that introduce each chapter really bring this book to another level. They are included because Edith uses recipes to send coded messages to Dori based upon an old cookbook. The author found just such a cookbook in her aunt's home while cleaning after her death. Her aunt had, like Edith, worked in Germany after the war and inside the cookbook there were numerous handwritten recipes which was all that remained of correspondence from that time. Such is the genesis of an intriguing book. ( )
  gypsysmom | Mar 6, 2021 |
After the end of WWII, Edith has applied and been accepted for a job with the Control Commission for Germany. The Commission oversees the occupation zone. Edith is recruited by several different groups to spy and report back. In particular, she is tasked with finding Count Kurt von Stavenow, a former lover.

This book was extremely slow moving and tedious. At times it felt like a sequel, and that important information was missing, or not dealt with sufficiently. The ending was surprising, but otherwise this book was a bust. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Oct 14, 2020 |
Miss Graham is such a lovely book. It's full of twists and turns, and you never quite know who to trust or believe. I love the bravery and ingenuity of the women in this book, as they navigate a world in turmoil. Female relationships play a hugely important role in this book, and it's a great historical story, with a unique perspective and storyline. The writing is beautifully crafted and I would recommend this to fans of historical fiction looking for something a little different from the norm. ( )
  kiaweathersby | Sep 16, 2020 |
There's a lot of historical fiction out there about World War II so I'm always interested in a different point of view and Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook definitely provides one.

Edith Graham spent the war working as a school teacher in a small English town. With the fighting over and bored with her provincial life, she signs up to work in Germany helping to rebuild the schools there. Fluent in German and with a perfect cover, Edith is recruited by her cousin who's in the British Secret Service to work as a spy helping to hunt Nazi war criminals including one who broke her heart. Once in Germany, Edith soon realizes that many of her acquaintances are not what they seem and must determine who deserves her loyalty and, most importantly, the information she uncovers which she shares via code embedded in seemingly meaningless recipes.

The book focuses on a group of amazing women and the risks they take to track war criminals and bring them to justice when the governments they work for want to find them to use for their own nefarious purposes. Rees brings post-war Germany to life with her vivid descriptions of the physical destruction and you can feel the devastation and hopelessness of the citizens and other displaced people who are just trying to find ways to survive. She also recounts the horrors perpetrated during the war which so outrage Edith and her accomplices that they are willing to take matters into their own hands. The race to find and apprehend the criminals Edith has been tasked with delivering is gripping with lots of twists and turns you won't see coming. And then there's the food - each chapter starts with a recipe that sets the tone (and often includes the clues) for what's to come. If you're a historical fiction fan looking for a great story and colorful characters, this is the book for you.

Thank you to Book Club Girls, HarperCollins, and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the novel. ( )
  ReadingIsMyCardio | Aug 26, 2020 |
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