Elza s Kitchen For years Elza has gotten by A divorc e out of culinary school she started her own little restaurant in the midsize Hungarian city of Delibab and she s grown a decent business cooking quality vers

  • Title: Elza's Kitchen
  • Author: Marc Fitten
  • ISBN: 9781608197699
  • Page: 373
  • Format: Paperback
  • For years, Elza has gotten by A divorc e out of culinary school, she started her own little restaurant in the midsize Hungarian city of Delibab, and she s grown a decent business, cooking quality versions of Hungarian classics and serving them with a smile But lately her smile has dimmed Her loveless affair with her sous chef has become an irritation She s getting siFor years, Elza has gotten by A divorc e out of culinary school, she started her own little restaurant in the midsize Hungarian city of Delibab, and she s grown a decent business, cooking quality versions of Hungarian classics and serving them with a smile But lately her smile has dimmed Her loveless affair with her sous chef has become an irritation She s getting sick of the same old dishes and the same old customers, and she can t help but think that perhaps the right review, from the right critic, would change thingsBut in these nascent years of capitalism, it will take some competition both personal and professional to really make Elza see that her restaurant, and her happiness, are worth fighting for Author Marc Fitten fell in love with Hungary after years spent living there His buoyant second novel is a celebration of Hungarian culture and cuisine, as well as a portrait of a woman and her country in transition.

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      Published :2019-01-24T15:21:59+00:00

    One Reply to “Elza's Kitchen”

    1. I love the language of this book. The author has a fantastic way of describing scenes and people using very few words, but still painting a clear picture.That being said, I had trouble caring for the characters, and I do not know why. Elza, the main character, is very human in her actions. She makes good and bad choices, and she is just trying to find her passion again. I like the fact that only the people she has strong emotion about had names. The man she is sleeping with is only ever called t [...]

    2. This is probably the first book that I have won from that I just really didn't like. In fact had I not won it, and felt obligated to finish and review it, I probably wouldn't have. The book is not poorly written, but it just doesn't seem to have a plot. Elza, the main character is probably one of the most unlikeable characters to ever grace a novel. There is just nothing good to say about her. She takes those around her for granted, and throughout the book refers to everyone by their job title [...]

    3. Elza’s Kitchen is a fairly short book, but don’t misjudge it for its size. It packs a powerful punch in terms of life lessons all wrapped in a simple and delightful story. Even if you don’t like to cook or find food boring, you’ll enjoy this book.Elza is the owner of a small restaurant in Delibab, Hungary. It would be fair to say that her life has fallen into a rut of late. She sees the same customers in her restaurant. Her relationship with the Sous Chef is dull. Her menu is unchanging. [...]

    4. I received this book for free from NetGalley.This story was just OK. It really had promise to be a better than OK story but ultimately it just fell short. For me, it just stemmed from the fact that I didn't care about Elza, the main character. I found her uninspired and just plain boring. The story starts off with Elza lamenting over the fact that she doesn't love her boyfriend, she just wants a warm body next to her. Sees that her ex-husband, whom she left because he wanted to start a family, h [...]

    5. I was very surprised at how little I cared for this book. From the synopsis I expected to love this book, but unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it until the last quarter or so. I usually try not to write a review that is all negative, but other than the book being tehnically well-written, there isn't much positive for me to say. The story held a lot of promise, but the characters were unrelatable, the subplots unfinished and there was a lot of unnecessary background/side story information that didn' [...]

    6. What an enchanting book! Usually, I can't read omniscient point of view and point of view shifts, but this book kept me gripped from the beginning. The descriptions were unique as was the setting. So was the writers perspective and angle. The plot was full of surprises. I so wanted Elza's life to come right but everything progressively became worse. But it was full of happy surprises and twists and character arcs. Loved it!

    7. Elza’s Kitchen by Marc Fitten appears initially to be a simple tale of a successful women in her middle years becoming disillusioned with her life. It follows Elza an attractive petite woman in her late 40’s and owner of the only good restaurant in a small Hungarian town. She is in a fairly loveless relationship with her young sous chef which shortly ends badly because she refuses to marry him. She is dissatisfied with her success and has plans to win a coveted prize and she hatches a plot t [...]

    8. Some good ideasThis book was a bit all over the place. I kept turning pages, wanting so much to like it and connect with the characters, but it really never happened. Loving to cook, I pick up many books related to food. They are usually warm hearted and full of rich characters. This story left me dry and hungry for depth. The restaurant owner and her customers and staff were primed for the reader to fall in love with them, but the storyline never got to that depth.

    9. Elza has her own restaurant in Delibab, Hungary and has made a living for some years now. She opens for lunch and dinner and serves good, wholesome Hungarian food ‘like your grandmother made’ in a fine dining setting. She has always enjoyed her job, her restaurant and served her food with a smile, getting to know her regulars. But lately she’s experienced a dissatisfaction that threatens to consume her. And her relationship with her much-younger sous-chef is no longer tolerable.The answer [...]

    10. Elza's Kitchen is the story of a Hungarian woman in the grip of a mid life crisis. Her restaurant is a success, she entertains a virile young lover and she enjoys bourgeois comfort but her passion for life has faded, much like her youth. Casting around for inspiration she seizes upon the idea of attracting a well known Parisian food critic to her restaurant in the hopes that he will recommend it for the prestigious Silver Spoon Award but change will not come easily and Elza stands to lose it all [...]

    11. I don't think this book can figure out what it's about. Is it a mid-life coming of age? A woman's need to right a wrong? The story of two lovers who need to be away from each other in order to grow? Elza is a chef in Hungary, but she's restless. At forty-eight, she feels like her life should go somewhere, but it isn't. Her restaurant is successful, but not recognized by Michelin. Her romance with her nearly two decades younger sous chef is equally stagnant. He wants to get married, but she doesn [...]

    12. Elza’s KitchenBy Marc FittenElza’s Kitchen is the second novel in a series, all of which take place in Hungary as it transitions from the Soviet bloc to the global market economy. The first, Valeria’s Last Stand, is a hilarious romp of a novel—less a novel than a fabliau, a comic tale about lust, greed, and the trickery ordinary people use to satisfy these all-too-human urges. Elza’s Kitchen has fewer laughs out loud but far more moments of real and complex feeling. Valeria is an older [...]

    13. One of the first things that struck me – and I am not sure of the reasoning behind it – is that all the male characters are referred to by their career i.e. the Sous-Chef, the Dishwasher, The Critic, The Policeman etc. – the young Gypsy boy being an exception to this. All the female characters were called by their first names – Elza, Dora and Eva. It didn’t deter from the story, just had me wondering as to why?I selected ELZA'S KITCHEN because it is set in Hungary – and in a few mont [...]

    14. I received this book as GoodReads First Reads giveaway.At first, I found it hard to really get into this story. The writing style reminded me a little bit of 'stream of consciousness' narrative, and I've never been a fan of that before. However, the 2nd time I picked it up to continue reading, the story really took off and I finished it in that sitting. Elza is a likeable character that many readers can probably relate to, while at the same time make readers cringe at her behavior throughout the [...]

    15. I chose this book because I thought it sounded really quite similar to my own - a bit quirky and food-centred. It turned out there are similarities but not that many. The plot is sparse really, and revolves around fairly mundane situations which seem to built up to more than they are. The main character isn't particularly loveable, and I'm not entirely sure whether there was meant to be a moral to the story or not. Don't aim too high maybe? Appreciate what you have?I felt that some aspects were [...]

    16. This was a fast read with a mildly interesting plot.Elza is going through a mid-life crisis as she feels herself adrift in the world. She owns a restaurant in Delibab, a small Hungarian town, but running it is now mostly her employees task, and she can't help feeling bored there. She's also divorced and though having someone to warm her feet, she does not feel her heart warming towards him. This is about her trying to find a way out of her situation. Her attempts are nothing spectacular, but she [...]

    17. I wanted to like this bookt in a fictional Hungarian town 10 years after the fall of communism, the story of a female chef/restaurant owner caught my attention on the library "choice reads" shelf. The plot deviated from this potentially fascinating tale when the focus shifted from one unlikely romantic relationship to another. It could have been set in most any town in any country, with only minor changes to the story. Also, the female protagonist seemed unnecessarily whiny and flat. Very little [...]

    18. Not sure where this story was supposed to go. Elza -- a great but unknown chef, was uninspired by the way her life was and how she was living. But other than trying to get her restaurant a prestigious award (which she didn't get), there was nothing else she did to improve her lifestyle. This book could have been great. Although Elza's personality was unlikeable, I understood how a person can become the person she was -- overworked, uninspired, taking other people for granted, unfulfilled, feelin [...]

    19. This is a charming book about a chef in a small town. Only three characters in the book get names (the rest of the characters are named after their jobs--Professor of Sauces, Critic, Shopkeeper, etc.). Elza is a little sour, and a lot feisty. Her plans don't work out as expected, but everyone's better off for it. This is a soft-lens, cozy sort of story. And mouthwatering. Bump from 3 stars to 4 because of descriptions like this:"People came . . . for her potato pancakes--golden fried disks cover [...]

    20. This novel was the perfect combination of everything that I look for in a book. Elza runs a restaurant that serves traditional Hungarian food. It is really about her rediscovering who she is and what she wants from life. I loved all of the scenes incorporating descriptions of food. It was a really interesting story, and it held my interest throughout. I liked how the author used exclamation points. Those are not often used, and I thought it was a good stylistic choice. I really felt a connection [...]

    21. I enjoyed this book but it wouldn't make any list of my favorites. I liked that it was set in a different time and place, post-communist Hungary. And I love food-related novels. The tone of this one seemed a little deadpan, at least for first half of the story. Perhaps this simply reflects that time in the country's contemporary history. Certainly interesting to think about how people in a post-Soviet satellite adjusted to capitalism. And the plot was good enough. As I said, I kept reading and f [...]

    22. This was a giveaway that I won. I was excited to read this book because I have worked in kitchen for years. But, the only thing that I really liked in this book was the restaurant, like the food and the odd things that happened in a kitchen. I couldn't get into liking the people. Other then the main girl, Elza, everyone one else has titles instead of names. Like the Sous-Chef, The Professor of Sauces and The Professor of meats. I just couldn't connect with the people in the story. And it didn't [...]

    23. I didn't care much for this story. Our main character Elza is going through what sounds like a midlife crisis. She claims that she is no longer in love with her boyfriend, but stays with him because she doesn't want to be alone. She was previous married and divorced because she wanted a family. She has a successful business and is doing well in life. Her life is painted as almost perfect except she's unhappy with everything she has. I found myself getting extremely frustrated with this story bec [...]

    24. A charming novel in a peppery rhythm and language, it has an unusual structure or arc (to me anyway). Its two parts are related but each has its own climax. I liked it very much for its setting, honesty, humor, and fairy tale-like reality. I've read two books by Marc Fitten and I look forward to more.(Completely unrelated to this book, I do recommend a movie about a restaurant in Hungary: Gloomy Sunday. Ohmygod, it's really good.)

    25. I had mixed feelings about this book. I wanted to like it more than I did, but there were a few distracting things that kept me from really latching on. The premise for the story is good and the character of Elza is well built, but there were pieces of the story that were needless and simply took up space - occasionally even causing a jarring of the flow. With a little more editing and development, this book could have been great. For the full review: erraticprojectjunkie.

    26. Mixed feelings about this book. I picked up this book because the synopsis piqued my interest. However, this was a rather disappointing read. I got kind of frustrated with Elza, the protagonist, at certain point of the book. I understand it's her existential crisis moment, but I did not like how the story ended. The redeeming part of the book is that it's realistic enough that life does not happen how you want it to be, and you just have got to make do with what you have. Nonetheless, this is an [...]

    27. Although this was not a book I would buy myself (won as a first reads giveaway) I really enjoyed this book! It had a nice flow & was well written. I think the character development was fantastic, I didn't know TOO much about the characters, as I shouldn't in this type of book, but I knew enough about them to enjoy their stories & not be confused. In my opinion, I didn't find this story to be earth shattering, or even very exciting, but it delivered a good message.you can always start aga [...]

    28. Elza's kitchen got off to a slow start and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. Throughout the first 50 pages or so Elza remained an unlikeable character for what seemed like no reason. As the book moved on you began to understand her standoffishness and her drive to succeed and the book became much better. One of my favorite minor characters was Dora's dad, and I would have loved to read more about him.

    29. I would say this was more like a 3 1/2 star book, but I'm rounding up because I liked the author's first book so much. I felt like a lot of the characters in this book were sort of lost. The author didn't quite capture them and make them come alive for me, unlike in his first book. I didn't feel like the characters learned much about themselves. I only really enjoyed the book when food preparation was being discussed and at the end. The ending was a bit more Disney than I wanted.

    30. Not very likeable characters. If I thought that their behavior might be the result of Hungary moving from Communism and occupation to Capitalism and freedom, I might have found them intriguing. All in all, though, the characters and the story were a disappointment. It's compared to Like Water for Chocolate, but the comparison doesn't hold. And I guess it's fairly unremarkable because I picked it up again at the library and realized that I had read it.

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