The Hundred-Foot Journey Review
Click here to buy posters
In Association with
Sometimes, a first novel is brilliantólike this one! Author Richard C. Moraisís debut, The Hundred-Foot Journey, follows a likable character, Hassan Haji, whose life revolves around food preparation. Consider this book a seven-course gourmet meal.

We get to know Hassan Haji as a boy, the son of restaurateurs. Business is booming due to the familyís Machli ka salan (fish curry) recipe, and Hassan is taught well by his Papa to select the freshest catch at the fish marketówhich is captured so vividly that you can picture every glorious detail.

The familyís hasty retreat to London, following a tragedy, could have been dreary, but Hassanís coming-of-age experiences get things rolling again. Descriptions of his Anglo Peacock (ambitious second-generation immigrants) friends are funny, too.

Chef Mallory is a thorn in Hassanís side from the day the family moves to Switzerland. Her character transformation from rival to mentor is pure artistry on the writerís part. I can think of only one actress capable of transforming herself into the self-possessed Madame Mallory for the movie version: Meryl Streep. (Oh, I do hope thereís a movie version!)

The other female characters are also well developed, from the fragile sous chef to Hassanís no-nonsense sister and their senile Auntie.

Morais serves up vivid surroundings and colorful characters. For a spicy entree, thereís rivalry. Jealousy and tension also build for a while, but none of it is overdone. Revenge just about finishes Hassan off before an astonishing turn of events.

Foodies will salivate at the descriptions of the culinary creations. Here is just a morsel of food prose: ďThis was my trademark dish of late fall: Siberian ptarmigan, roasted with the tundra herbs taken from the birdís own crop, and served with caramelized pears in Armagnac sauce.Ē In laymenís terms: partridge and pear in brandy sauce. But in the authorís prose, itís literary genius!

By the time I got to the last chapter, my craving for Indian food overtook me, and I went to my neighborhood Sweets restaurant. Once I had my tea spiked with garam masala, mattar paneer with rice, and palak paneer slopped over freshly baked naan, I was able to continue reading.

I carried the book with me until I devoured every delicious bite of mouth-watering fiction. In the end, all the storylines are wrapped up in a satisfying way, but this book will leave you craving more. Hassanís old love re-enters his life at the end, leaving the perfect opening for a second novel.

Submissions Contributors Advertise About Us Contact Us Disclaimer Privacy Links Awards Request Review Contributor Login
© Copyright 2002 - 2018 All rights reserved.