A collection of 13 #ownvoices stories that amplify the central role food plays in families and cultures.
The web of stories in this anthology unfolds in Hungry Heart Row, a neighborhood where myriad cafes, bakeries, and restaurants abound, renowned for their great food, unsurpassed hospitality, and—in some cases—magical meals to cure every malady. In Sandhya Menon’s (There’s Something About Sweetie, 2019, etc.) “Grand Ishq Adventure,” Neha writes a blog and has no problem advising her readers what to do, but her own love life is going nowhere—until she takes some of her own advice. The heroine in “Panadería-Pastelería” by Anna-Marie McLemore (Blanca & Roja, 2018, etc.) expresses herself through the language of baking rather than words, showing her caring through carefully chosen, lovingly made baked goods. The cast of unconventional, diverse characters—who run into one another in different stories—includes a Muslim superhero, a teen of Native (nation unspecified) and white ancestry, and a Jewish girl struggling after trauma. The stories use food and restaurant settings to frame engaging narratives connecting to themes of first love, belonging and isolation, family conflict, and loyalty, spiced up with elements of the supernatural, fantasy, and magical realism.
A brilliant multicultural collection that reminds readers that stories about food are rarely just about the food alone. (map, about the authors) (Anthology. 13-adult)