The good name of Norman cooking, ill-served by the hokey concoctions of the recent de Broglie-Zukas' The Cuisine of Normandy (1984), is triumphantly redeemed in this lucid, unpretentious work. Any Norman cookbook that begins with directions for making graisse normande (the characteristic cooking fat of the region, art amalgam of suet and pork rendered with vegetables) clearly has hold of the right end of the spoon. The Bocage-born Guermont goes on to make us see things like fresh butter, super-heavy cream, Camembert, puffpastry, oysters, snails, duckling, and venison as the honest and familiar fare of the region. He provides well-thought-out versions of celebrated Norman specialties (boudin blanc and boudin noir, Mâ‰¤re Poulard's omelet, sole normande) along with such welcome simplicities as cream of pumpkin soup, soft-boiled eggs in a cream sauce laced with fresh greens, and oysters on the half-shell with pepper- and shallot-flavored cider vinegar. Appies, cider, and Calvados naturally figure generously throughout. The recipes are intelligently written, but you should have some idea of what you're about in the kitchen. Estimable and lovable.