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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Delancey by Molly Wizenberg

I love love loved A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, so of course I requested Delancey.  I was not disappointed!

The Blurb:
In this funny, frank, and tender new memoir, the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the blog Orangette recounts how opening a restaurant sparked the f irst crisis of her young marriage.

When Molly Wizenberg married Brandon Pettit, he was a trained composer with a handful of offbeat interests: espresso machines, wooden boats, violin-building, and ice cream–making. So when Brandon decided to open a pizza restaurant, Molly was supportive—not because she wanted him to do it, but because the idea was so far-fetched that she didn’t think he would. Before she knew it, he’d signed a lease on a space. The restaurant, Delancey, was going to be a reality, and all of Molly’s assumptions about her marriage were about to change.

Together they built Delancey: gutting and renovating the space on a cobbled-together budget, developing a menu, hiring staff, and passing inspections. Delancey became a success, and Molly tried to convince herself that she was happy in their new life until—in the heat and pressure of the restaurant kitchen—she realized that she hadn’t been honest with herself or Brandon.

With evocative photos by Molly and twenty new recipes for the kind of simple, delicious food that chefs eat at home, Delancey is a moving and honest account of two young people learning to give in and let go in order to grow together.


The short of it: Wizenberg has a way of writing that makes me feel like we’d totally be friends. I’d love to hang out with her, and I could completely relate to how this all went down.

All the rest: You know how sometimes you really want to encourage someone, even when you think that they might not succeed at what they are attempting? Or really even follow through on trying? And so you do that pat-pat go-for-it you’ll-be-great thing? Well that’s pretty much what happens here. Molly and her husband are going along being newlyweds. Molly is writing a book, Brandon is in grad school. It’s all good. Sure, Brandon occasionally gets a wild hair to build a boat or something, but that never actually happens. So when he decides to open a pizza restaurant, Molly is encouraging. She’s neck deep in her first book, and not really paying attention and one day she wakes up to discover that Brandon really is opening a restaurant, that it wasn’t just something he’s going to lose interest in.  Molly realizes that this really isn’t something she wants, but it’s too late to do anything but jump in with both feet.

This isn’t really a book about life in a restaurant, and it isn’t really a book about food (Even tho there is plenty recipes in the book). This is really a book about a marriage and about diverging dreams and what that can do to a marriage.  It's about waking up one morning and realizing that the life you have is nothing like the one you imagined that you would have, and then learning to embrace that one instead.

It's really hard for me to put my finger on exactly what it is that I like about Wizenberg's writing, but I really do. I would read everything she writes.  She really captures the details of how her relationship changes without really giving up too much privacy. She's funny, open, honest. I really like her. i didn't finish the book thinking that she left big holes in the story, so if she left anything out she did so seamlessly. Life isn't perfect, and she didn't shy away from admitting her part in the struggle.  I would happily recommend this book (or A Homemade Life) to anyone who enjoys a memoir or a foodie book or even just a well written story.

Delancy will be released on May 6th.


  1. I loved A Homemade Life and can't wait to read this book! Thanks for your review.

  2. A memoir with recipes? I'm sold!

  3. Loved this one! I was worried I wouldn't like it because it was so different from A Homemade Life but it was so good!

  4. pretty nice blog, following :)


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