Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee (Book Review)

Title: Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love and the Search for Home
Author: Kim Sunee
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir

First sentence: Let me start by saying where I am.

From the cover:
Kim Sunee was abandoned in a Korean marketplace at the age of three and raised by adoptive parents in New Orleans. But by the age of twenty-two, her life was totally transformed - she found herself the companion of a French mogul, and mistress over his homes in Paris and Provence. Yet despite the glamorous trappings, Kim never felt quite at home. It was only in the kitchen, where she encountered exotic ingredients and fed crowds of friends, that she felt she truly belonged. Trail of Crumbs is a compelling personal narrative of the search for home pursued among the tastes, aromas, and sensuality of food across three continents.

This book was beautifully written! It led you through Kim's life - most of it centered in her 20's after she had moved out of the United States. It showed such a deep yearning to try to understand where she fit in, where she belonged, that you just wanted to reach into the book and take her in your arms to let her know that it would all be okay. By being "lost" by her mom, she grew up always searching, never quite feeling "at home."

I interpreted the title "Trail of Crumbs" to be a metaphor for two things. First, she used to have a dream about her and her brother as Hansel and Gretel, just waiting for the moon to come out so they could see the trail of crumbs - only to find out that they had been eaten by the birds. Secondly, how she seemed to feel most comfortable in the kitchen, regardless of where she was, cooking wonderful dishes for friends. So as she traveled, she left her own 'trail of crumbs'. Her book is doctored with tales of wonderful foods in exotic (to me) places. At the ends of many of the chapters are recipes of what sound like delicious dishes. I hope someday to have the courage to try some of them. (There is an index in the back of the book listing these recipes.)

You must read Kim's story of loss and loneliness as she loved, in her way, Olivier, but could not come to accept the life he created for her.
"Somehow, I thought, he'll never realize that the everything he wants to give me will never take away the nothing that I've always had." (p66)
Join her as she searches for acceptance and family and discovers a strength to let go of what cannot be changed and move forward.

About the author: Kim Sunee has been featured in the New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, People, Elle, and Glamour. She is the founding food editor of Cottage Living and the host of "Local Flavor with Kim Sunee" for MyRecipes.com. You can visit her website at http://www.kimsunee.com/.


Anonymous said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this. Thanks for your review.

avisannschild said...

This sounds like a good one! I enjoyed your review.

Melissa said...

Oh, this one sounds like a perfect food memoir. Thanks for finding it and reviewing it!


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