In the Kitchen

In the Kitchen

by Monica Ali

Arlene Almas: In telling the story of Gabriel Lightfoot, executive chef of the Imperial Hotel in a town in the north of England, Monica Ali puts us right in the middle of the worlds of professional cuisine and immigrant life. The murder of Yuri, a Ukrainian hotel worker, and Gabe's discovery of Lena, a frightened, mysterious young Eastern European immigrant, brings us further into the difficulties and terrors of those who have left their home countries for a better life in the West. An obsession with Lena, primarily on Gabe's part, threatens his relationship with his girlfriend Charlie. Gabe's family - his dying father, his sister with problems of her own - become a crucial resource for him as he moves towards his future. I very much enjoyed this intelligently written novel. Rating: ****

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