|To-go||Sit and Savor|
|Ohmmm||Buckle Your Seatbelt|
|Easy Words||Advanced Vocabulary|
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal is the intersection of love, life, and food. More specifically, it’s a look at life through the lens of foodies, whether they identify as such or not.
The cast of characters is both relatable, in their thoughts, choices, and mistakes, as well as familiar (we all know an Eva, a Pat). The author takes these otherwise-ordinary-people going about their otherwise-ordinary-lives and weaves them together in a way that compels the reader to care about what happens to them.
On top of this, it takes place in the midwest (obviously) so there are some nods to experiences that many people who grew up in Wisconsin or Minnesota can directly relate to. If you didn’t grow up in the midwest, you might still relate to it and, if you don’t, it captures this little chunk of culture that many of us take for granted as simply life.
While the book could have gone (much) further to include diversity in the points of view, the points of view that are represented are genuine and delightful to read.