Lobster Karma by Karen Gallas, 2012.
Gasper Destiene is a self taught food critic who has just signed a contract to write a bible on American cuisine. But after a lifetime of wrestling with good and evil, her conscience takes a turn for the better and she turns vegetarian overnight. An inexperienced vegetarian has no place writing about real American food and Gasper knows it. But what is a girl to do?
Gasper finds vegetarian food lacking (real American food has meat and soul) but cannot bear to eat meat. That is until she meets Tatupu. Tatupu can turn water into wine…culinarily speaking. Tatupu, the big, brown and beautiful Hawaiian chef who left his home to follow a girl. Tatupu who everyone can’t help but fall in love with because his heart is bigger than his smile. Tatupu who excelled in cooking gloriously fresh chicken, pork and fish in classic luau style but then when he had to, attempted vegetarian cooking. And nailed it.
Gasper’s husband, Milo, is so ridiculously supportive, I’m not sure if his “type” exists. Not only does he worship the ground she walks upon, he does so with grace. Milo is an enabler. His sole purpose in life is to help others to help themselves. Milo makes them shine as brightly as the sun.
Gasper’s adventure takes her through various food loving characters. Most of them with big, beautiful hearts. They need Gasper to bring out their shine. These characters make me want to be a better person. I don’t know if that was Karen Gallas’ intent, but it’s certainly not a bad thing. As someone who loves a good mystery (I’ve read a shit-ton of mystery and crime thrillers in my time), it wasn’t long before I figured the ending. Nevertheless, it’s a lovely story with oddball but lovable characters and I’m left feeling like it’s just one of a series. I hope so.
Read this if you…
- Enjoy reading food porn (as in decadent descriptions of delicious dishes, not smut)
- Or enjoy cooking
- Or enjoy food blogs/blogging
- Or have an interest in Buddhism
- Or vegetarianism
- Or Hawaiian or American food
- Believe in karma and doing good
Some of my favourite morsels from Lobster Karma…
“She did not particularly like vegetarian food and in no way, shape or form had any desire to eat vegan food, which she always found odd, chalky and lacking in logic.”
“Tatupu O’Rourke was raised in a household in which the process of food preparation always took on a carnival atmosphere. Cooking was a family activity, and the combination of ingredients was often dependent upon who or what walked in the door just before meal time.”
“His mother’s large garden produced too much for her family of seven children. Tatupu was often sent dow the road carrying bags full of papaya, mango, star fruit, kiwi, corn squash and tomatoes to share with the neighbors. He would return with gifts of bread, fish and eggs, a few friends, and sometimes, a chicken. The world was abundant, and Tatupu lived at the center of it.”
“Tatupu lived in a paradise, and paradise lived inside of him, visible to everyone he met, shining from the inside out.
“To his friends and acquaintances, in many ways Milo was like a blank canvas or a mirror – ready to take on whatever color and passion that was holding their attention. He took great pleasure in reflecting back to others their inner workings. That is not to say that if someone were raging or depressed, Milo would join them in that particular hole. Instead, it was as if he could sink into their state of mind and help them see it more clearly without joining them there.”
“Life is not always kind, but it rarely sends us difficulties we can’t shoulder.”
“No matter what you do, do it honorably, even if what you are doing is dishonorable.”
An entertaining, delicious and enlightening read. At $1.99 via Amazon it’s a cheap read too.
For those that have just joined, as part of my new year’s resolutions (read more books) I hoping to read and review a food related book every month during 2012. Click here to read my other book reviews.