Review Round-Up for Kate Lebo’s Book of Difficult Fruit

If you haven’t read Cara Strickland‘s interview with Kate Lebo about The Book of Difficult Fruit, we encourage you to check it out online or by picking up a copy of our spring issue.

But we’re not the only ones who have been enjoying this new anthology! We’ve rounded up some other reviews from around the country to help make up your mind and make sure that the book ends up on your reading list this summer!

Alex Beggs of Bon Appétit had her review picked up by the New York Times, noting that Lebo’s writing is “often fascinating, sometimes juicy, rarely dry.”

Every fruit is ripe for metaphor for Lebo, who is both a poet and a baker. She resists giving symbolism too much power, but it’s hard when you realize that the needy ex-boyfriend is like an Italian plum tree, a novelty to care for who soon becomes an intolerable burden. -Alex Beggs

Closer to home, Dan Nailen of The Inlander says the book is “a high-wire act that Lebo performs with seeming ease and an inviting style,” and James Beard Award-winning writer Rebekah Denn notes that Lebo’s writing is very personal in her review for the Seattle Times.

Publisher’s Weekly calls the book “unusual and piquant” but says that “this off-kilter collection will hit the spot with readers hungry for something a little different.” They even imagine Lebo’s kitchen, a spot we’d love to get in and tour sometime soon!

On the recipe front, many concoctions feel like the result of hard-won battles—one imagines Lebo’s kitchen overflowing with sticky pots and jars—with cravings-inducing taste-combinations such as a barley soup with fennel sausage and “faceclock greens” or vanilla bean cake with buttercream. -Publisher’s Weekly

Kirkus Reviews may sum it up best by describing the Book of Difficult Fruit as a “one-of-a-kind reading experience,” and while we are only through the letter E in our piecemeal reading of Lebo’s new collection, we agree that it is “eloquent, well-researched, and thoughtfully conceived and organized.”

This genre-defying book will appeal to foodies as well as those who appreciate both fine writing and the pleasures of domestic arts and crafts.

We look forward to reading more of The Book of Difficult Fruit this spring and summer and catching up with local pie-, whiskey- and fruit-afficionado Lebo for many seasons to come!

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