I've not had the opportunity to read any of Katherine Reay's works, until I was allowed to read Lizzy and Jane. Let me tell you, this book is hard to put down. It creates a train of thought that rarely comes to mind--how to minister to a person's whole being.
Lizzy and Jane are sisters, not close in age or relationship, but now Lizzy has found out that Jane has breast cancer, and she is expected to go to Seattle and help her. Lizzy does not feel that she can take time away from her restaurant where she is a chef, until her boss feels she needs some time away to get her passion back. Once Lizzy hits Seattle, she makes it her job to find something her sister can eat.
Throughout this book, Katherine seeks to find the soul of each of her characters and reveal the souls to her readers. I found her technique quite intriguing as well as compelling. There is a bit of romance intertwined into the story, but it doesn't take center stage--in fact, it is a minor part. The most profound element to the plot is how Lizzy finds what her sister can eat, what she can tolerate, what brings her the most comfort; and then Lizzy translates that to use for another patient who gets chemotherapy at the same time. Her first trial is a bust for the other patient, until Lizzy figures out how to reach the other patient and prepares meals he can eat.
I related to this book in an unexpected way. I have cancer, and while I do not take chemotherapy, I do have food restrictions--restrictions that even though my friends have asked me about, they never seem to remember what they are. The thought that someone would care enough to find the things that would taste good, that wouldn't hurt sensitive mouths, that would nourish the soul as well as the body--that thought amazes me. I haven't seen that kind of caring, even within my church family. It a gift for someone with culinary training and a desire to help the deepest needs to delve deep into someone's soul to find what would touch that person in a way no one had ever tried before.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a Five Star Meal that touches your soul.
Thomas Nelson has provided this book in exchange for my honest review.