When Amanda fills out the application for the reality show Food Wars, she knows she has a winning situation for their show. She lives in a small town in Kansas that has two chicken restaurants. The hook? These two chicken restaurants were started by two sisters three generations ago.
If you think these restaurants would be friendly with each other, you’d be mistaken. They carry a generations-old feud against each other.
In fact, Amanda, daughter of the owner of Mimi’s, married Frank, son of the owner of Frankie’s. It was kind of like Romeo and Juliet, right? While, one might this that this would unite the families, instead, it pushed them further apart. Amanda was kicked out the door of Mimi’s restaurant and never allowed to enter the restaurant again.
Even after Amanda’s husband dies, Amanda still remains at Frankie’s, not allowed to call Mimi’s restaurant her home.
Food Wars says yes to Amanda’s letter. They want to come and film a competition against the restaurants. When they do, Amanda’s sister Mae, agrees to come home and help Mimi’s in the competition. She’s at a loose end professionally, and she thinks the social media and television exposure might help her career.
When the two sisters see each other, old resentments bubble up and threaten to spill out on camera for all the world to see.
I noticed . . .
I noticed how much the sisters needed to talk to each other about their feelings. They had all these feelings and resentments toward each other (especially Amanda toward Mae), and they could have worked for healing. Instead, the evil Food Wars host attempts to use these resentments for television drama.
I noticed that chicken is so embedded in Amanda’s soul that even her artwork is focused on chickens. Her chickens are their own little people and characters. That’s such an adorable touch!
I wondered . . .
I wondered what food competition show Dell’Antonia was inspired by. I have a few that I love, and wondered if she’s a fellow viewer.
I also wondered if Barbara would be able to maintain the changes that were forced on her life by the events of the show. She seems quite resistant to change, and I have difficulty thinking that the changes that she’s made might be long-lasting.
It reminded me of . . .
The first thing I was reminded of was The Almost Sisters. These sisters are carrying misconceptions and resentments about each other, and they really need to sit down and have a conversation. That reminds me of Mae and Amanda.
Another sister drama I was reminded of was Long Bright River. Just like Amanda and Mae, the sisters in this novel take two very different life paths. Luckily, Amanda and Mae’s life paths are not quite as divergent as the sisters in this book!
I was also reminded of The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. If ever there was a toxic sister relationship, this book had one. This was serious violation of the sisterly bond, and it had life-changing and bitter effects.
One excellent quote . . .
There were several quotes that I really liked in this book, but one of my favorites reminded me of the book Practicing the Present. This quote explains why Mae prefers not to dwell on the past or live in regret.
She had decided a long time ago that there was no point regretting something you’ve already done. Choices only move in one direction.
As the book develops, readers learn that Mae doesn’t always live according to this principle, and she has plenty of regrets (or almost regrets). However, I think her stated philosophy makes a pretty good one for living by.