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The Cookbook Collector

October 17, 2010

 In this case, I’m not the cookbook collector. This is a novel in which the collector plays a minor role, but one that’s important to Jess Bach. Jess and Emily are two sisters living in California. Their mother died young, and left the girls letters to be opened on their birthdays, but not much information about her family or childhood.  Jess is a graduate student in philosophy in Berkeley, dating a tree-climbing activist, while she’s scared to get off the ground. She gets a part time job in a rare book store, and finds George, the owner, very complicated. George made his money with Microsoft, but now prefers gourmet cooking. Older sister Emily is a founder of a high-tech company in San Franciso, Veritech. Emily’s in a long distance relationship with Jonathan, the founder of a similar company on the east coast. Both companies are ready to go public, making most of their employees instant millionaires. Then Jess gets more involved at the bookstore, helping catalog and write about a collection of rare cookbooks. George falls for Jess, while Emily and Jonathan are finding their relationship increasingly more difficult, especially when Jonathan isn’t as honest as Emily. All too soon the stock market crashes, then 9/11 throws their lives further into chaos, while also bringing the sisters closer together.

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