MISE EN PLACE OF LIFE by Catherine A. Di Giovanni


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In this short book of journal entries, photos, recipes and poems, Di Giovanni recounts the harrowing tale of a car accident that changed her life and career.

Pastry chef and culinary artist Di Giovanni had a career built on taste, scent and textures. She created pastries and lavish cakes for large retailers and private clients. But a car accident in March 2010 left her fighting for her life in and then out of a coma. Months later, she began a near-miraculous journey toward recovery at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital. This book recounts that journey and tells the story through photographs of supporters, from friends to doctors to family members. During recovery, Di Giovanni suffered a setback of dangerous seizures and once again faced the possibility of death. Through courage and family support, she fought back and regained her health and stability. The book, however, more comfortingly serves as a personal journal for friends and family rather than a memoir written for readers outside her immediate social circle. Readers shouldn’t expect to find the full story of the author’s accident, recovery and experience; instead, anecdotes and a collage of images illustrate what the author considers to be the most important moments of her recovery. At just over 100 pages, the book finishes with a few favorite recipes from breakfast specials to dessert treats. Each dish is named by the author, from That’s Amore, a prosciutto pizza, to Wake Me Up Goodness, a chocolate bark. For those interested in a story of personal perseverance and positivity, Di Giovanni’s account of triumph and the will to live will inspire, and the graphic photos of both the accident and her decadent desserts and recipes give a bigger picture of her life, passions and trials. The accident, it seems, took away some of the author’s most important senses, but it never broke her courage to persevere.

A short, poignant collection of expressions capturing a year of recovery and hope.

Pub Date: July 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0615691527
Page count: 104pp
Publisher: Catherine A. Di Giovanni
Program: Kirkus Indie
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