Book Review: Sweetbitter

Today’s read: Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.

Book Review Long Story Short

A lost twenty-two year old flees to New York City and immerses herself in the delicious, seductive, and destructive world of high end restaurant service in the early 2000s.

Book Review Read Speed

A 4. This pretty decent hunk of a novel (350+ pages of small print) didn’t last long in my hot little hands!

I loved this book! The protagonist is complicated, confused, self destructive, and much smarter than she realizes. I grew maternally fond of her as the story unfolded and she made her choices, both good and cringe-worthy. The pain and pleasure she experiences in her first taste of adult life (at a breakneck New York City pace) is a little wild, but still relatable.

The real star of this book, though, is the romantic, manic, high-cultured world of restaurant service and gastronomy at a Union Square Cafe doppelgänger. (Dinner at the USC as a young adult was my first true fine dining experience, and I still remember the magic of it like it was yesterday.)  If you’ve ever fantasized about being a cook, server, or sommelier at one of these amazing temples of gastronomy, you will eat up every detail.

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