Title: Dinner at Fiorello’s
Author: Rick R. Reed
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 1st, 2015
Lenght: 7 hrs and 12 mins
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Henry Appleby has an appetite for life. As a recent high school graduate and the son of a wealthy family in one of Chicago’s affluent North Shore suburbs, his life is laid out for him. Unfortunately, though, he’s being forced to follow in the footsteps of his successful attorney father instead of living his dream of being a chef. When an opportunity comes his way to work in a real kitchen the summer after graduation, at a little Italian joint called Fiorello’s, Henry jumps at the chance, putting his future in jeopardy.
Years ago, life was a plentiful buffet for Vito Carelli. But a tragic turn of events now keeps the young chef at Fiorello’s quiet and secretive, preferring to let his amazing Italian peasant cuisine do his talking. When the two cooks meet over an open flame, sparks fly. Both need a taste of something more—something real, something true—to separate the good from the bad and find the love—and the hope—that just might be their salvation.
There are two things I love most than anything else: Cooking and Reading. Put them together in a book and it’s a sure thing I’ll read.
As I started Dinner at Fiorello’s, I was a bit skeptic because one of the MCs was too young and too rich, and sometimes this combo makes for extremely spoiled characters, but also sometimes they are the greatest martyrs. That was not the case with this story.
Henry is a young, blond and gay rich boy. He’s eighteen and dreams of becoming a chef, however his family doesn’t think that way. His dad has a map for his son’s life, and he won’t accept anything but total obedience. It doesn’t even cross his mind that his son may like to pursue other thing besides law. Henry’s mom has checked out; she barely cares about her son. Her life is completely alienated from his.
After Henry reads an ad about a restaurant hiring, he just can’t let that chance go. That job, if he got it, could change his whole life. Henry has a hard time pondering if challenging his family is the best course of action, but with his mind made up, Henry goes after what he wants.
Working at the kitchen, his mom and his two dogs are the only things left for Vito to love in his life. He has lost, and still fell that loss deeply. He doesn’t care about other people, doesn’t try to strike any friendship and when Henry steps into his kitchen, Vito feels something he just doesn’t want to put a finger on.
The author takes us on a journey with these two characters. Each story builds slowly and apart from each other, but at the same time they’re changing together.
The narrator of this book did a great job. I could tell each and every nuance of personalities and emotions. So engrossed I was that when the voice said: Epilogue, I went to check if I hadn’t missed anything, so good it was that it felt like no time passed since I started the story.