I find that books and food have a lot in common. Some books are nourishment and comfort for your soul, reminding us about what is important in life. Some books are fun to snack on and taste good, but provide little nourishment. Other books are exotic adventures, asking our noses and tongues to try something we haven’t tasted before.
The Barrowfields was comfort food that someone tried to recreate from a childhood memory. It never comes out quite the same as when your mom/dad/grandmother/grandfather made it even if you follow the recipe exactly, but that doesn’t mean that it is bad. It just has a hint of something that is different … That is how I felt when reading this book.
The book itself followed 3 generations of men in a family in North Carolina told through the point-of-view of the youngest male. On the surface, this book is about family, about growing up, about the South. It’s also about going through life with mysteries that aren’t solved or that shouldn’t be solved. It’s about finding oneself and where one fits in relation to others. It’s about having the self-assurance or character to know who you are without others’ approval. It’s about separating from your family in order to become the person that you need to willingly accept obligations.
As you may have guessed, I liked this book, but there were parts of the book that I found unnecessary. There was a little too much thrown into the book. The whole subplot with the Henry’s girlfriend was a bit much for me. The book would have been just fine if that whole part had been edited out. The sinister house portrayal was also a bit much.
When I finished the book, I was left with that quiet contentment after having comfort food. I just wanted to sit and savour it for a while.
It’s a wonderful first book and I look forward to reading more from the author.