Monday, January 27, 2014 books

A Taste For It
by Monica McInerney

First sentences:
Maura picked up her wineglass and spoke in a low sexy voice. “I'm rich and full-bodied and you'll savour my taste for a long, long time.”

‘Céad Míle Fáilte,’ the Irish tourist brochures said. A hundred thousand welcomes.’
A hundred thousand nightmares, more like it!

Maura Carmody’s off on the trip of a lifetime. A talented chef, she’s travelling around Ireland for a month to promote Australian food and wine.
Maura’s expecting a straightforward business trip. But what she gets is a whirlwind of mishaps, misunderstandings, rivals and revelations – and Dominic Hanrahan, who’s giving her plenty of food for thought.
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
I love reading Monica McInerney's books and have quite a lot but this one will always have a special place in my heart.

Many years ago, I would say when I was about 14or 15 years old, I bought the German translation from A Taste For It on a whim and devoured it in a day or two. I always was a fast reader but this book captured me, even though it is a romance novel, and awakened my love for books dealing with food one way or another. I read it many many times and my German edition is well loved. I now also have a signed copy sent to me from Monica as a thank you for a blog post I wrote about her (you can read it here) and one edition I bought second hand after I wasn't able to find it anywhere.

A Taste For It tells the story of Maura, an Australian cook, whose brother owns a winery, who gets the chance of going to Ireland to promote her brother's wines and give cooking lessons afterwards. There she comes across Dominic whom she served awful food back Down Under due to confusing him with a food critic who ruined her friend Gemma's restaurant which, understandably, leads to a lot of embarrassing moments, snappish comments from a friend of Dominic and a little bit of chaos.

The storyline mainly focuses on Maura's adventures in Ireland and you can already see the strong focus on the importance of family that becomes more obvious in Monica's later novels. Maura was adopted when she was a baby and her mother emigrated from Ireland to Australia. As with a lot of adopted kids, at least that's what I think, Maura also wants to know a bit more about her roots and with some small pushes from her brother over the phone she starts looking for some answers in her mother's native land.

All the people we meet in this book are lovely people, some with an interesting back story. I loved Maura and could sympathize with her. She goes on a trip thinking she will meet a good friend in Ireland and spend some time with her but due to an accident this isn't possible and from one moment to another she is alone in a country she doesn't know and has to deal with a guy she drenched in water from a vase of flowers the last time she saw him. She is also leaving her brother and her heavily pregnant sister-in-law, who had some difficulties during the pregnancy, behind for a month not knowing what will happen while she is gone.

A Taste For It may seem like a light fluffy romance at first but for me it is so much more. It is a family story, a story about growing (up) and dealing with life, a love story and a story about friendship. It was Monica's first published novel and if you know other books by her you can see glimpses of the later themes she writes about.

If you want to read an entertaining novel about wine, food, growing up and fighting for what you believe in and are not reluctant to a sweet little love story, then I can highly recommend A Taste For It.

For more information about Monica McInerney visit her Homepage, her Facebook or Twitter page.

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