Synopses & Reviews
Already hailed as "brave, emotional, and gorgeously written" by Frances Mayes and "like a piece of dark chocolate bittersweet, satisfying, and finished all too soon" by Laura Fraser, author of An Italian Affair, this is a unique memoir about the search for identity through love, hunger, and food.
Jim Harrison says, "Trail of Crumbs reminds me of what heavily costumed and concealed waifs we all are. Kim Sunée tells us so much about the French that I never learned in 25 trips to Paris, but mostly about the terrors and pleasure of that infinite octopus, love. A fine book."
When Kim Sunée was three years old, her mother took her to a marketplace, deposited her on a bench with a fistful of food, and promised she'd be right back. Three days later a policeman took the little girl, clutching what was now only a fistful of crumbs, to a police station and told her that she'd been abandoned by her mother.
Fast-forward almost 20 years and Kim's life is unrecognizable. Adopted by a young New Orleans couple, she spends her youth as one of only two Asian children in her entire community. At the age of 21, she becomes involved with a famous French businessman and suddenly finds herself living in France, mistress over his houses in Provence and Paris, and stepmother to his eight year-old daughter.
Kim takes readers on a lyrical journey from Korea to New Orleans to Paris and Provence, along the way serving forth her favorite recipes. A love story at heart, this memoir is about the search for identity and a book that will appeal to anyone who is passionate about love, food, travel, and the ultimate search for self.
"On making Sunée's acquaintance in the introduction to this charming memoir, it's hard not to envy the young woman swimming laps in the pool overlooking the orchard of her petit ami's vast compound in the High Alps of Provence, but below the surface of this portrait is a turbulent quest for identity. Abandoned at age three in a Korean marketplace, Sunée is adopted by an American couple who raise her in New Orleans. In the 1990s she settles, after a fashion, in France with Olivier Baussan, a multimillionaire of epicurean tastes and at least in her depiction controlling disposition. She struggles to create a home for herself in the kitchen, cooking gargantuan meals for their large circle of friends, until her restive nature and Baussan's impatience with her literary ambitions compel her to move on. The gutsy Cajun and ethereal French recipes that serve as chapter codas are matched by engaging storytelling. Alas, for all Sunée's preoccupation with the geography of home, her insights on the topic are disappointingly slight, and the facile wrapup offered in the form of resolution seems a shortcut in a book that traverses so much rocky terrain." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Kim Sunée takes us on a lyrical journey from Korea to New Orleans to the South of France. Along the way there are unforgettable portraits and a heartbreaking romance, but food is her touchstone and her passion. The descriptions on almost every page are mouth-wateringly evocative, the recipes divine she is the M.F.K. Fisher of her generation."
Julia Reed, contributing editor at Vogue and Newsweek
"Sunée serves up mouthwatering descriptions of food and a generous helping of recipes" Booklist
"A restless young woman's poignant search for identity, accompanied by dozens of recipes....Vivid writing and an inspiration to head to the kitchen." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Kim Sunée is the author of Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home. (Grand Central Publishing, January 2008)
She lived in Europe for more than ten years and is now food editor at Cottage Living magazine.