The Kitchen Front: A Novel (Paperback)
From the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir comes an unforgettable novel of a BBC-sponsored wartime cooking competition and the four women who enter for a chance to better their lives.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY GOOD HOUSEKEEPING • “This story had me so hooked, I literally couldn’t put it down.”—NPR
Two years into World War II, Britain is feeling her losses: The Nazis have won battles, the Blitz has destroyed cities, and U-boats have cut off the supply of food. In an effort to help housewives with food rationing, a BBC radio program called The Kitchen Front is holding a cooking contest—and the grand prize is a job as the program’s first-ever female co-host. For four very different women, winning the competition would present a crucial chance to change their lives.
For a young widow, it’s a chance to pay off her husband’s debts and keep a roof over her children’s heads. For a kitchen maid, it’s a chance to leave servitude and find freedom. For a lady of the manor, it’s a chance to escape her wealthy husband’s increasingly hostile behavior. And for a trained chef, it’s a chance to challenge the men at the top of her profession.
These four women are giving the competition their all—even if that sometimes means bending the rules. But with so much at stake, will the contest that aims to bring the community together only serve to break it apart?
About the Author
Jennifer Ryan, the author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir and The Spies of Shilling Lane, lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and two children. Originally from Kent and then London, she was previously a nonfiction book editor.
“A charming tale that will satiate a lot of different tastes: historical fiction lovers, cooking competition fans, anyone who revels in girl-power lit. . . . . This story had me so hooked, I literally couldn’t put it down to cook.”—NPR
“Positively delicious . . . Ryan excel[s] at creating warmhearted, intriguing homefront drama.”—BookPage
“A delightful read.”—AARP
“A positively uplifting read that is as soothing as a warm cup of Earl Grey on a gloomy morning.”—Booklist
“[Ryan is] a master of plotting and working in different registers . . . Readers with an appetite for homefront WWII novels will find this deeply satisfying.”—Publishers Weekly
“A creative and satiating novel. Certain to delight lovers of historical fiction and TV cooking competitions.”—Kirkus