The Recipe Club by Andrea Isreal and Nancy Garfinkel
From the Publisher's site
Loyalty, loss, and the ties that bind. These are the ingredients of The Recipe Club, a "novel cookbook" that combines an authentic story of friendship with more than 80 delicious recipes.
Lilly and Val are lifelong friends, united as much by their differences as by their similarities. Lilly, dramatic and confident, lives in the shadow of her beautiful, wayward mother and craves the attention of her distant, disapproving father. Val, shy and idealistic—and surprisingly ambitious— struggles with her desire to break free from her demanding housebound mother and a father whose dreams never seem to come true.
In childhood, "LillyPad" and "ValPal" form an exclusive two-person club, writing intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets—and recipes, from Lilly's "Lovelorn Lasagna" to Valerie's "Forgiveness Tapenade." Readers can cook along as the friends travel through time facing the challenges of independence, the joys and heartbreaks of first love, and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred.
The Recipe Club sustains Lilly and Val's bond through the decades, regardless of what different paths they take or what misunderstandings threaten to break them apart . . . until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.
Now, years later, while trying to recapture the trust they've lost, Lilly and Val reunite once more—only to uncover a shocking secret. Will it destroy their friendship, or bring them ever closer?
This was a really fast read and quite enjoyable. I read this in one sitting, it has been a long time since I have done that.
The Story is told mostly through emails and letters between the two friends Lilly and Val. Most letters come with a recipe that fits the theme of the letter. We are given a glimpse into the the lives of the two girls as they grow up and go through trials and triumphs. Like so many people they go through times when they are best friends to a time when they have drifted apart to even a time of a total break in their relationship.
There is a bit of language. Not too much sex. A very compelling story.