A LibraryThing EarlyReviewers book.
Billie has landed her ideal job – assistant to the editor of Delicious! magazine. In no time flat, she’s installed in New York, meeting the absolutely fascinating cast of characters that work at the magazine as well as some of the interesting food sites in the city.
But as quickly as this wonderful opportunity arrives, it’s quickly dashed, as Delicious! is closed. Billie is kept on, as she was in charge of responding to inquires about the Delicious! guarantee, and the publisher isn’t ready to let that go. Now by herself in the mansion that an entire magazine’s staff once inhabited, she finds a secret room in the old library, filled with letters from subscribers. In those letters are some written by a girl named Lulu to James Beard during WWII. Billie is fascinated by Lulu’s story, and finding her letters among the others in the secret room becomes a bit of an obsession.
This is Ruth Reichl’s first novel. I’ve read and loved several of her food-writing memoirs, and the wonderful way she writes about food comes through just fine in fiction form. (Doesn’t hurt that it’s set in an alternate universe version of Gourmet.) I’d have to characterize the book basically as chick lit, but it’s the kind of well written chick lit I enjoy as a counterpoint to my genre reading. I’ll happily read more if she decides to keep exploring fiction.