Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.
To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.
Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!
What better way to spend a Friday!
Today’s book is one I’ve recently downloaded, a book I’ve had my eye on for months. Sweetbitter, by Stephanie Danler, is a lush, raw, thrilling novel of the senses about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, seductive world of a famous New York City restaurant.
Beginning: You will develop a palate.
A palate is a spot on your tongue where you remember. Where you assign words to the textures of taste. Eating becomes a discipline, language-obsessed. You will never simply eat food again.
56%: I knew he was down there. He had just told Nicky he was going down to find a bottle of scotch, even though I had told him, for over a week, that we were out. I’d even asked Howard about it, and he’d told me it was back-ordered at the distributor. And yet Jake refused to believe it.
Blurb: “Let’s say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge…” This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the twenty-two-year-old at the heart of this stunning debut. Shot from a mundane, provincial past, Tess comes to New York in the stifling summer of 2006. Alone, knowing no one, living in a rented room in Williamsburg, she manages to land a job as a “backwaiter” at a celebrated downtown Manhattan restaurant. This begins the year we spend with Tess as she starts to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing, and privileged life she has chosen, as well as the remorseless and luminous city around her. What follows is her education: in oysters, Champagne, the appellations of Burgundy, friendship, cocaine, lust, love, and dive bars. As her appetites awaken—for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging—we see her helplessly drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle. With an orphan’s ardor she latches onto Simone, a senior server at the restaurant who has lived in ways Tess only dreams of, and against the warnings of coworkers she falls under the spell of Jake, the elusive, tatted up, achingly beautiful bartender. These two and their enigmatic connection to each other will prove to be Tess’s most exhilarating and painful lesson of all.
What do you think? Have you read this book? Would you keep reading?