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Entertaining Disasters: A Novel (with Recipes)by Nancy Spiller
Synopses & Reviews
"The unnamed heroine of Spiller's debut is an L.A. epicurean who's made a career writing about her perfect dinner parties. The only problem? She hasn't thrown one in years — in fact, she dislikes socializing at all. But when a well-placed magazine editor asks for an invite, our heroine is forced to reproduce her fantasy life for a do-or-die dinner. What looks at first like a three-act rom-com spends hundreds of pages spinning its wheels, the paralyzed narrator pinging between food trivia and recollections of a neglectful, withholding mother. As promised, the novel contains recipes, but most are unexecutable and only some relevant. Aside from epicurean concerns, the heroine's focus sticks mainly to the flaws in her surroundings; there's no learning or growing, just a litany of worries over the coming party, lots of blame-throwing and unhappiness. Despite Spiller's clever way with words, her reach falls short of social satire, resulting in a static character study of a whining foodie." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In print, FW, the unnamed freelance Food Writer of Nancy Spillers sardonic debut novel, Entertaining Disasters, lives high on the food chain in the heady realm of L.A.s culinary journalism scene. She waxes poetic about her hip home gatherings, thinly veiling the identities of her Hollywood guest list. But in reality, FWs been inventing the dinner parties she writes about because social paralysis sets in at the very thought of a real guest in her fabulous—or is it shabby?—hillside home. Enter the glossy food magazine editor, new in town, who wants an invitation to one of her bashes, and the panic-stricken journey from fantasy hostess to reality bites is on.
Entertaining Disasters—at turns whimsical and deeply affecting—chronicles the struggle FW faces in the week before she hosts her first real dinner party in ages. At the same time, her estranged sister threatens to drop by, her husband takes off, and her house implodes. In the way of Nora Ephrons Heartburn, Spillers book is filled with the fabulous culinary lore and delicious-sounding recipes that have made FWs writing such popular foodie mania. Now all she has to do is somehow bring this fantasy world into workaday reality.
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