Friday, December 2, 2016

Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots

I picked up Tomorrow There Will be Apricots by Jessica Soffer on a whim, intrigued by the cover. I know it's a cliche, but I just couldn't put it down once I had it in my hands.

Despite its gorgeous design, the cover did not adequately prepare me for the level of absolutely heart-breaking beauty I found inside this book. Jessica Soffer has created an emotional punch of a novel filled with longing for love — Lorca's longing for the love she never received; Victoria's longing for the love she lost or denied herself — and the kind of strange miracles that can happen when you finally open your heart to the right person.

Lorca is the daughter of an emotionally unavailable mother. Victoria is a recent widow looking back over her life and the connections she kept at arms length. Both are desperately looking for some reason to keep going.

Lorca, as children are wont to do, blames herself for her mother's inattention, and clings to the childish hope that if she were a more perfect daughter, her mother would magically change into a more loving and nurturing being. Victoria, suddenly unmoored by the death of her husband, lights on the idea of locating the daughter she gave up years ago.

The two meet during Lorca's search for the recipe to a dish her mother enjoyed years ago at the restaurant own by by Victoria and her husband Joseph. Lorca is convinced that by cooking the most perfect plate of masgouf for her it would magically break open her mother's shell, revealing her real mother inside — the one who can provide the emotional connection she so desperately needs.

Victoria is pushed to offer cooking classes in her home by Dottie, the eccentric friend of her husband who lives in the apartment above her, as a way of busying herself after his death. Upon meeting Lorca, she begins to suspect they may have a stronger connection than simply the love of good food.

The ending is deeply satisfying, in a way I couldn't have imagined while reading. It renewed my sense of hope for humanity and my faith in the curative powers of love. I cannot recommend Tomorrow There Will be Apricots strongly enough. Both Lorca and Victoria are wonderfully complex characters who remind us that sometimes being a self-rescuing princess includes finding the right person to help us when we cannot do it all ourselves.

[CN: this books contains scenes of self-harm.]

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