I hosted my book club this month and we read Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen. I love magical realism. When I had by first bookstore job after college I would always make a display of staff picks and then make sure I read one of them each month. Thanks to those excellent recommendations I first read and fell in love with books like Like Water for Chocolate and The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. Fast forward to 2016 when I picked up Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and fell in love. I quickly read the rest of her books and have been waiting impatiently for this next book.
There were ghosts, but it wasn’t a ghost story, there were misfits looking for a tribe, there was a mystery or two you didn’t even know needed solved, and there was love in many different forms. There were secrets revealed and secrets kept, invisible birds, and childhood trauma. Even with all of that going on at one this is, at its hear, a comfort read.
In an interview with the author she said that she always envisioned the setting first and that’s why it always feel like a character. This setting is the fictional Mallow Island, South Carolina, known for its marshmallows and that leads to what makes this a fun book club read… the menu!
So, I started with marshmallows. A S’mores cake and orange marshmallow fluff and coconut marshmallows.
I also made a marshmallow dip for sweet potatoes fries and fruit.
There was also a chef who based his menu on cornmeal. Cornmeal popovers with raspberry jam. Cornmeal candied bacon. Sweet potato soup served over marshamallow.
I also made a cornmeal pudding in the crockpot which was probably my favorite.
Oh, and Zoey, the main character, loves potato chip sandwiches so we had those too.
So, you can see how easy it is to totally get into the food for a book club meeting and I had so much fun doing it!
Everyone loved the book so that was a bonus 🙂
Are you in a book club? Has there been a book where the menu for the meeting wrote itself?