Born above his grandfather's modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.
The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais (that of the famous chef Madame Mallory) and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures.
Pages: 256 (hardcover)
Publisher: Published July 6th 2010 by Scribner (first published 2008)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Source: Checked out of library
Date Completed: April 15, 2014
I first heard of The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais when I read a list of books to read before the movies come out. The premise intrigued me and it had a combination of two of my favorite things--family and food. The actual story also incorporates religious tension, cultural assimilation, and immigration. It was a combination of heavy and lighter themes. Each time I read a passage, I felt hungry.
As hard as it was to read both as a parent and a child, I loved reading about Hassan's journey of taking the steps both literal and figurative to go across the street to start his next adventure. While I am not a particularly good cook, I could relate to the desire to cultivate and chase passion. The book was picked for the Boston book club and I was sad to find out that most of the members did not like the book; they found that it dragged. Many of them thought the movie was quite good. Since I really enjoyed the book, I am looking forward to the movie.
I am counting this book for the following challenges: