Even though I had only a few days to read this book that is all I needed.
That Part Was True earned 4.5 out of 5 stars b/c it is a fast read, with a fabulously interesting and real story. I was fascinated and intrigued with the relationship Jack and Eve built through their love of food and his books. I thoroughly enjoyed That Part Was True and how it was written; the format and writing style was well done.
I enjoyed that the ending seemed very realistic, but yet that surprised me as well b/c endings rarely are realistic. The book may not have left me with a wow like a 5 star book does, but I would definitely say this book is a must read for all women that enjoyed books such as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or The Shadow of the Wind. Great story and well written.
All in all, this book was quite clean, and quite enjoyable. Read it. Please.
New York Times had quite an extensive book review. It may be long, but it gives a lot of really good information about the book and storyline, and expressed similar opinions to mine.
"Poor Eve, a divorced romantic pessimist, suffers anxiety attacks, brought on by almost anything outside her four walls. Her daughter, Izzy, and Eve herself consider Eve to have been very bad at mothering. And now Izzy's coming wedding introduces additional angst in the form of Simon, the long-estranged ex-husband and thrice-married father, who is making up for lost time and absent scruples.
Equal space is devoted to Jack, twice-divorced, sort of enjoying bachelorhood in the Hamptons. "For the past 15 years, women had been trying to please him. Not many had managed it." Several now seem "gluey." Especially skillfully rendered is his affair with a diffident New Yorker, Adrienne, a dispenser of unwanted editorial advice. Worse-she's a vegetarian who hardly eats! Mineral water and a salad don't keep good company with omnivore, gourmand Jack. Far-off Eve, on the other hand, is a safe, quixotic object of affection and a source of recipes.
Will a culinary correspondence ("Mutton is good with plums") be enough to fan a flame? I worried that invitations to rendezvous in Paris were premature and unearned or, as Eve's housekeeper warns, "dodgy." But mercifully, Jack and Eve think so too. Jack wishes "he hadn't said that stuff to Eve; it sounded pretentious in the daylight."
Will these pen pals actually meet in a cafe on the Left Bank? McKinlay teases us, allowing them to correspond with a bit more ardor than their nonacquaintance warrants. If we occasionally wince at Jack baring his soul, going poetic, and with Eve responding in kind ("When it had all gone-my buoyant roundness and openness to joy-when it had been stripped away, I tried to forget everything"), we understand that distance and semi-anonymity are making them brave.
I won't say where their missives lead, but I will applaud the sensible outcome. This is England, after all, and we trust that Mrs. Petworth won't do anything rash.—Elinor Lipman,"
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