COOKING FOR HARRY by Kay-Marie James


Email this review


Plump hubby loses it.

Francie Kligler is told she’s the luckiest woman in Pittsburgh: her husband Harry is an excellent cook, devoted father, and does something with computers to make a good living. There are four grown children: Amber, an imperious, impulsive beauty; twins Tina and Trish, who run a hemp-clothing store; and boy genius Jason, who’s about to follow his father and do something computerish at college. An Empty Nest waits, and it’s time for midlife crises—triggered when Harry wins a talking scale in a Christmas raffle. The scale points out that he’s been very naughty, weighing 269 pounds at only five-eight. Francie, however, has always accepted him just as he is and is nonplussed when he begins losing on a low-carb diet. Just as well—the twentysomethings at his computer company were calling him Father Time, even if they do happily parade him before the venture capitalists as a token Mature Person when they plan to take the company public. Harry is caught up in the IPO as well as in his weight-loss group, leaving Francie feeling left out and miffed. Meanwhile, her kids provide welcome distractions: Amber tosses out her father’s beloved cookbooks and Gourmet magazines, the twins return home, and Jason takes up with a pierced person. The progeny decide to send Mom and Dad on a cruise for their 25th anniversary, but Francie is shattered to discover that Harry is, predictably, having an affair with a younger neighbor—whiny, difficult Krys. Francie decides, nyah nyah, to take the cruise anyway, with family friend Tom, an unsuccessful poet who’s a pretty good kisser. That’s about as far as she wants to go, and the romance tanks when the captain sails the ship right into a monster storm. Will Francie survive her seasickness and reunite with Harry? Will Harry realize that fooling around isn’t all that much fun?

Polished albeit slight effort by a collaborative, pseudonymous team of a Famous Author (who did the writing) and a Deserving Friend (who did the plotting). Charming cover and amusing premise should appeal to women of a certain age.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 2004
ISBN: 1-4000-4502-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Shaye Areheart/Harmony
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2003