I’m absolutely thrilled to have a copy of Recipe For A Perfect Wife on my TBR and to have Karma Brown staying in with me today to tell me all about it. My enormous thanks to Lucy Chamberlain at Legend Press for inviting me to help celebrate today’s publication of Recipe For A Perfect Wife.
Staying in with Karma Brown
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Karma. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Thank you for inviting me to stay in with you!
As it’s publication day for Recipe For A Perfect Wife I think I can guess the answer, but tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along Recipe For A Perfect Wife, which is my fifth novel and newly released in North America.
And a happy UK publication day Karma! Tell me a bit more about it.
It’s a domestic drama with a touch of mystery about two women—a 1950s quintessential housewife and a modern wife who has reluctantly moved from Manhattan to the suburbs—who live in the same house, 60 years apart, and how a dark secret buried in an old cookbook connects them. It’s a story with feminist themes, as it explores gender roles within marriage—both past and present—and encourages dialogue about how women may not have come as far as we’d like to believe, despite our more progressive times.
It sounds wonderful and that cover image would appear to fit it perfectly. So, what can we expect from an evening in with Recipe For A Perfect Wife?
The book is dual narrative, flipping between 1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch and modern day (house)wife Alice Hale, and it features both vintage recipes and epigraphs that offer depressingly comical advice for wives of the past. It’s an exploration of the role of ‘wife’ and ‘woman’ across the decades, and is—I hope—both entertaining and thought provoking! It has been heralded by reviewers as an excellent choice for book clubs, sure to generate stimulating discussions.
Oo. I’m in an all female book group and I think we’d enjoy chatting about the role of women in the home.
What else have you brought along this evening and why?
I’ve also brought along my quite old and food splattered copy of the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, which is from 1956 and has been passed down to me from my mum.
It certainly looks well used Karma.
It’s one of the vintage cookbooks I own that inspired Recipe For A Perfect Wife, and it’s a charming and revealing glimpse into the sorts of foods and meals that ended up on dinner plates in the 1950s. I view cookbooks as a legacy of the women who owned and used them, and love to run my fingers over the spills and notations on the pages. This particular cookbook also has heaps of advice for tired housewives, which was useful to inform Nellie’s character when I was drafting the book. I’ve had many of the recipes over the years, thanks to my mother and her wonderful cooking, but thankfully none of the (awful sounding) jelly salads ever made it to our dinner table!
I think it would be perfect to end our evening deciding something to cook from Betty’s book whilst I tell blog readers a bit more about Recipe For A Perfect Wife. Thanks for staying in with me to chat about it Karma.
Thanks for having me Linda.
Recipe For A Perfect Wife
When Alice Hale leaves a career to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in the basement, she becomes captivated by its previous owner: 1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the pages Nellie left clues about her life.
Soon Alice learns that while a Baked Alaska may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but. When Alice uncovers a more sinister, even dangerous, side to Nellie’s marriage, and has become increasingly dissatisfied with her own relationship, she begins to take control of her life and protect herself with a few secrets of her own.
Recipe For A Perfect Wife is out today, 4th February 2020, from Legend Press and is available for purchase here.
About Karma Brown
Image courtesy of Jenna Davis
Karma Brown is the bestselling author of four novels and is a National Magazine Award winning journalist.
Karma lives just outside Toronto, Canada with her husband, daughter, and a labradoodle named Fred.
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