Broke, divorced and disheartened, Portia Cuthcart leaves Texas for Manhattan, determined to sort out her life and finally embrace her magical way with food.
Portia has inherited a magical gift from a long line of Texas women who offered advice and, inexplicably, the perfect healing dish, but a tragic event caused her to turn her back on this "knowing" and live a normal life. Years later, betrayed by her Texas politician husband, she flees to New York City, where her two sisters live and where she owns the garden apartment in a brownstone. Her sisters have sold their portions of the house to Gabriel Kane, a renowned financier who expects her to sign over her share as well but is stymied when she moves in instead. When Kane’s younger daughter, Ariel, stumbles into a fabulous meal Portia makes for her sisters, she convinces her father to offer her a job as their cook. At first resistant, Portia accepts when she realizes her ex-husband is reneging on her divorce settlement, then sets about trying to open a cafe styled after The Glass Kitchen, a restaurant her family owned for generations in Texas. But as her sisters’ lives unravel, and she becomes more entwined in the Kanes’ well-being, Portia realizes how little she knows about the gift and how unprepared she is to handle the grief and confusion of the family upstairs. Lee takes a new magical direction after the success of Emily and Einstein (2011) and brings a light yet emotional touch as she combines food fiction with magical realism in a satisfying effort only slightly marred by Portia’s continually fluctuating feelings about her gift. However, Kane’s tight-lipped Yankee demeanor paired with Portia’s conflicted feelings make for powerful—and sexy—conflict, and Ariel’s attempts to fix her fractured family are affecting and pave the way for true connection with their magical neighbor.
Sweet and intense, with delightful magical accents, a delectable romance—and yummy recipes.