Discomforting with delicious morsels, this coming of age novel is set across two formative times from protagonist Roberta’s life: the abusive, domineering relationships she experiences with men as an undergraduate, and self-assertion through food and friendship in her late twenties. Cusp-of-adulthood millennial uncertainty finds release in the physically evocative food writing. A searching, hedonistically appetising read.
When I picked up my own steak, self-conscious yet exhilarated, I felt acutely attuned to the animal nature of what I was devouring, the fact of flesh in my hand, perhaps for the first time in my life. Around me, everyone else began doing the same, eating with hands and fingers, running index fingers around the lip of the dish to gather sauce, tearing meat into chunks and knocking them back like Smarties. Lina was the first to throw the steak bone over her shoulder. Stevie shook up a bottle of prosecco and sprayed it on the table. It was a slightly forced gesture of debauchery, but we all whooped nonetheless.