On Sale May 6

About the Book

In her New York Times bestselling memoirs Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples, Ruth Reichl has brilliantly illuminated how food defines us. Now she celebrates this theme in her dazzling fiction debut—a novel of sisters, family ties, and a young woman who must find the courage to let go of the past in order to embrace her own true gifts.

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her California home to take a job at Delicious!, the most iconic food magazine in New York, and, thus, the world. But Billie’s career has barely started when the publication is summarily shut down—an unseen turn of events leads her to stay behind at an interim job that she expects to be a bore. To her surprise, it turns out to be the portal to a magical, life-changing discovery. 

In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds the letters of Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old who corresponds with the legendary chef James Beard during World Ward II. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a deeper understanding of history—and the history of food. Most important, Lulu’s courage in the face of loss inspires Billes to come to terms with her own truths—about her panic attacks, her adored big sister and her ability to open her heart to love. 

“Reichl’s vivid descriptions of food will have readers salivating, and an insider’s look at life at a food magazine is fascinating. Her satisfying coming-of-age novel of love and loss vividly demonstrates the power of food to connect people across cultures and generations.”–Library Journal, Starred Review
“Rich characterization, a bright New York setting, transcendent discussions of taste and food.”–Booklist




April 10—Chicago, IL
Chicago Humanities Festival
May 2—New York, NY
Random House Open House
In Conversation with editor Susan Kamil
Location: 1745 Broadway (Cross streets: 55th/56th)
May 6—New York, NY
92nd Street Y
In conversation w/ Randy Cohen
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128
May 7 –Greenwich, CT
‘Literary Matters’ Lunch Event
Location: Innis Arden Country Club
120 Tomac Ave Greenwich, CT 06870
May 7 –New York, NY
7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble Union Square
In conversation with April Bloomfield
33 East 17th Street, New York, NY
May 8—Huntington, NY
7:00 PM
313 New York Ave, Huntington, NY 11743
May 9—Boston, MA
6:00 PM
Harvard Bookstore (off-site at The Brattle Theatre)
In-conversation with Barbara Lynch
40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
May 11—Coral Gables, FL
3:00 PM
Books and Books at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
10901 Old Cutler Rd, Miami, FL 33156
May 12—North Carolina
1:00 PM
McIntyre's Books at Fearrington Village
Lunch: 3 Courses with Chef Colin Bedford
Fearrington Village, 220 Market Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312
May 13—Dallas, TX
6:00 pm
Dallas Museum of Art, Horchow Auditorium
1717 N. Harwood St, Dallas TX 75201
May 14—Kansas City, KS
11:30 AM
Rainy Day Bookstore at Webster’s
May 15—Seattle, WA
12:00 PM
Dahlia Lounge lunch
May 15—Seattle, WA
6:30 PM
Book Larder at The Shop
4252 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, Washington, 98103
May 16—Los Angeles, CA
12:30 PM
Diesel Bookstore/lunch at The Hungry Cat)
100 W. Channel Road, Santa Monica, CA 90402
May 17—Los Angeles, CA
5:00 PM
Vroman’s (in association with the Pasadena Lit fest)
In Conversation with Jonathan Gold of the LA Times
695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
May 18—San Diego
11:00 AM
Good Earth Great Chefs Series
The Chino Farm
6123 Calzada del Bosque, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091
May 19 – San Francisco
11:00 AM
Town Centre Books Tea
555 Main St., Pleasanton CA 94566
May 19 – San Francisco
5:30 PM -9:30 PM
Ruth Reichl in conversation with SF Chronicle writer Leah Garchik
Nourse Theatre
275 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Sponsored by: City Arts & Lectures
May 20 –Corte Madera / Palo Alto
Book Passage
Literary Luncheon
Corte Madera Store, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA, 94925
May 20 –Corte Madera / Palo Alto
7:00 p.m. Program
Commonwealth Club
Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto CA
May 21—San Francisco, CA
12:00 PM
BookPassage at Spinster Sisters
401 S A St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
May 21—San Francisco, CA
6:30 PM
Omnivore Bookstore
3885 Cesar Chavez St, San Francisco, CA 94131
May 29—Washington, DC
7:00 PM
Politics & Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
June 1—Minnesota
University of Minnesota
In conversation with Lynne Rossetto Kasper / Splendid Table
University of Minnesota’s Northrup Auditorium
June 2—Philadelphia, PA
7:00 PM
The Philadelphia Free Library
In Conversation with Ana Castillo
June 11—Newton, MA
7:30 PM
Temple Emunah
9 Piper Rd. , Lexington, MA 02421
June 12 — Hartford, CT
Hartford Public Library
500 Main St, Hartford, CT 06103
June 26—New York, NY
11:30 AM
“What’s for Lunch” Series
The Lotos Club


Contacting Ruth
Kathy Robbins
The Robbins Office

Lecture Agent
Royce Carlton
Royce Carlton
More recipes
The Gourmet Cookbook

Published: 2004
Editor: Ruth Reichl