The Recipe Club


Praise for The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship

“Food and love without the schmaltz and warm fuzzies is what kept me turning the pages of this book. Yes, there are recipes, nostalgic and good ones, but the fascination is in how they mark the years of a childhood friendship struggling to become a life long one. If you’re lucky enough to have that one true best friend, you’ll find all the love, prickliness, laughter, blood curdling honesty, and joy here.”
—Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Host of “The Splendid Table®,” public radio’s food show from American Public Media

“I’ve been to many combat zones, so I know a real fight when I see one—and the characters in this book pull no punches. But what surprised me is how their conflict is just as engaging as their crazy humor and deep affection for each other. This book perfectly combines my two favorite things in the world: fiction and food. It”s a great read.”
—Bob Woodruff, ABC News anchor and journalist

“I found elements of every one of my own friendships in the 40-year relationship between Lilly and Val, the heroines of this delicious and delightful novel. I also discovered heaps of recipes that I can’t wait to try out. Authors Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel bring to life the joys as well as the disappointments inherent in attachments between women, and the power of food to sustain intimacy when those bonds are strained. The Recipe Club had me nodding in recognition as I hungrily devoured this satisfying and surprising story.”
—Giulia Melucci, author of I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti

“The Recipe Club is an extraordinary culinary fiction creation—a main dish consisting of a tender and poignant tale of love and friendship, served up with tasty sides of wonderful recipes. This is more than comfort food, it’s haute literary cuisine.”
—Isaiah Sheffer, host of National Public Radio’s “Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story”

“The Recipe Club, a moving story about two close friends connecting and reconnecting through food and cooking, contains one of my favorite lines written to date: ‘So, how do you fix a broken heart? Maybe with ricotta cheese.'”
—Tanya Steel, Editor-in-Chief of and co-author of Real Food for Healthy Kids

Reader Reviews

“The Recipe Club is a great book for all women. Light and breezy at times, deep and relevant at others, it charts the waters of female friendships in all their varieties. The recipes are scattered throughout and illustrate each scenario and provide their own interest. The book has it all, humor, pain, love, hate, the yearning to connect and the need to be your own person. This book is recommended for those interested in learning more about women’s lives and how to handle one of our primary relationships, that of best friend.”
—Booksies Blog

“What an amazing book! It is told th rough emails as well as childhood letters between the women. At ten years old, the girls express their friendship as pen pals and call it “The Recipe Club”. With each letter, they attach a recipe, but they were more than just pen pals, they were “sisters” for life. . . Since this book truly touched my heart, I’m giving it the Socrates’ Great Book Alert Award.”
—Socrates Book Reviews

“It’s about food. It’s about love. It’s about trust, trouble and truth. Ultimately, it’s about friendship and the extraordinary gift of having a true best friend through thick and thin. You’ll see yourself, and probably bits of your friends, in the two protagonists who, no matter what life throws at them to break them apart, always find their way back together until a twist of fate turns into an unforgivable betrayal. And, bonus!! After you devour this sweet and savory helping of great fiction, you’ll have a cookbook for your collection!”
—Boomer Girl

“I absolutely fell in love with Lilly, Valerie and the Recipe Club. Authors Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel wrote with such passion. I literally had a hard time putting this book down. Every time I would start to walk away, I would find myself running back and picking it up again. Valerie and Lilly both had a various range of depth and emotion. I experienced everything with them from…first loves, loss, anger, and betrayal. This book was so good that the delicious recipes included in this book are just a bonus. I can’t wait to try them all out. They had my mouth watering. I hope Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel write another book together.”
—Cheryl rated it:  GoodReads

“There’s no question that food can bring people together. Rich in flavors, textures and aromas, many recipes are also steeped with emotion. In the delicious book The Recipe Club (Polhemus Press, October 2009), authors Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel give you food for thought, an engaging heart-felt tale, and many recipes to celebrate the power of women’s friendships, the ups and downs of relationships, and the soul-satisfying joy of bonding through food.”

“I couldn’t stop reading—and cooking from—The Recipe Club which is part novel, part cookbook. If you’ve ever cooked a meal out of joy, anger, frustration or love, or wondered why friends and family are so complicated, you’ll recognize yourself on every page.”
—Deborah Reilly, New York City, as seen in Everyday with Rachel Ray Magazine.

The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship revives the forgotten art of letter writing. This beautifully written and illustrated novel/cookbook follows two women through a warm and brutally honest relationship, and uses food as a backdrop to the era, mood, and environment. The use of photos and recipes make the story all the more vivid and personal. The book forces you to take sides in the conflict between characters, and as the wounds and the warmth jump from the page, they push you to examine the importance of emotional connections and the profound impact we have on each person we encounter.”
—Kendrea “Mekkah” Griffith, poet, artist, author of The Beautiful Medusa.