4 Stars Out Of 5
Starting from Scratch Equals Coping With Grief
March 19, 2015
Debs Dozen: Olivia and her family, plus friendsconsumed by grief, consoled by cooking.
Olivia Tschetter has just successfully defended her doctoral dissertation when she learns her mother, Vivian, has died. Vivian was the only one who knew that Olivia was going to do her defense, and now she cant tell her mother that she succeeded.
At home, not talking about her studies, but cooking up a stormOlivia tries to cope with her grief. Her family suggests counseling to get her out of the house, so instead Olivia takes her sister Annies place at the local Meals on Wheels and becomes a part-time volunteer. Along the way, while delivering meals, she meets an old friend of Vivians. And along the way we get to know the rest of the family as well as the family secrets.
Susan Gilbert-Collins writes in a very erudite fashion as she leads us through Olivias story. She takes us inside Olivias mindwe read her thoughts as shes thinking themalmost in stream-of-consciousness style. Olivia, obviously well-educated (shes a Ph.D. after all even if her family doesnt know), also loves cooking. Were treated to some delicious recipes as Olivia works her way through her grief.
You will find Olivias story compelling. I enjoyed reading about the foibles of the people at Meals on Wheels and their clients. I could understand her thoughts and reluctance to deal with Vivians death. When my mom died, I had to change her room out immediatelyto keep busy so I could survive my grief at her loss. Olivia finds being busy a solution tookeeping occupied with Meals on Wheels and with cooking.
Being inside a characters head so deeply makes for a challenging, but rewarding, read. Four stars.
Susan Gilbert-Collins gave me a copy of Starting From Scratch in exchange for my candid review.