A restless Bulgarian writer’s ery enthusiasm for her family’s culinary traditions de nes her from childhood into passionate adulthood as she strives for a life less ordinary.
In 1960s Bulgaria, during the height of Communism, six-year-old Manda survives her abusive grandmother and rural poverty by nding sheer delight in the world—plump vegetables, garden gnomes, and darkened attic corners. The young Manda endures severe beatings, seemingly indestructible. But later, as a middle-aged artist and frus- trated writer in newly democratic Bulgaria, she desperately tries to feed her damaged soul. Zaharieva peppers the narrative with real recipes signi cant to the novel’s char- acters. Lush gardens, nostalgic meals, and sensual memories are as charming as the narrator herself.