Author: Amy Lane
Narrator: Philip Alces
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes
At a Glance: I enjoyed how Food for Thought played out, but it just wasn’t my favorite narration.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Emmett Gant was planning to tell his father something really important one Sunday morning—but his father passed away first. Now, nearly three years later, Emmett can’t seem to clear up who he should be with—the girl with the apple cheeks and the awesome family, or his snarky neighbor, Keegan, who never sees his family but who makes Emmett really happy just by coming over to chat.
Emmett needs clarity.
Fortunately for Emmett, his best friend’s mom has a cookbook that promises to give Emmett insight and good food, and Emmett is intrigued. After the cookbook follows him home, Emmett and Keegan decide to make the recipe “For Clarity,” and what ensues is both very clear—and a little surprising, especially to Emmett’s girlfriend. Emmett is going to have to think hard about his past and the really important thing he forgot to tell his father if he wants to get the recipe for love just right.
Review: Emmett is sweet—if a little clueless—and, even though it takes him a long time to figure some things out, there is one thing he is absolutely sure of. One thing he knows down to his marrow. He wants a family. Craves it even. And, it’s impossible not to wish it for him throughout the entire book. He isn’t quiiiite sure how to make it happen, but, luckily for him, he gets a little intervention from his best friend’s mom—also the only mom Emmett has ever known—in the form of a mysterious cookbook. Hopefully Emmett can find the clarity one of the recipes promises, and figure out a way share his true self with the important people in his life.
I enjoyed how Food for Thought played out. We’re along for the ride on Emmett’s funny, poignant, emotional, and at times awkward journey of self-discovery, and it’s a typical Amy Lane ride. I cried when Emmett lost his father, laughed and sighed with Emmett and Keegan many times, and definitely cringed right along with poor Christine—or, depending on your viewpoint perhaps, poor Emmett—at the pivotal moment in the book. I mean, I’d lay odds that most of you haven’t been walked in on while having sex…twice. Ha!
Emmett’s relationship with Vinnie’s family was beautiful. I loved how they took him in as one of their own when he was a kid, and never let go. I loved how they gave him a place filled with noise when the quiet of life with his father became too much. I also thought Keegan was fantastic as the love interest, and completely adored how much they just wanted to take care of each other. I did think that Emmett’s unwillingness to be open with his family about being gay was unfortunate, and maybe a bit far-fetched. As close as they were, and as many openings as they gave him…it was too bad he couldn’t open up to them sooner. But, if the time wasn’t right, the time wasn’t right.
I know this is an audio review, so I need to get to the actual audio critique! I’m probably a dissenting opinion here, because I know that Philip Alces is very well liked, but it just wasn’t my favorite narration. I like that he does more ‘performance’ than straight reading. He’s better than many I’ve listened to, without a doubt, and he did a fine job of distinguishing the different voices during the dialogue. I think maybe he sounds too mature or straight-laced for this story? I’m honestly not sure exactly what it is, guys. I’ve said in previous audio reviews how picky I am about narrators and voices, so I’m perfectly willing to admit that this little point of contention is nothing more than preference. I would definitely still recommend giving it a go!
You can buy Food for Thought here: