This is a story about Grace, her two friends, Olivia and Rachel, and a pack of wolves living on the edge of town. The summary from the verso page: " In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increaseing intensity." Intensity, yes, it is all about the intensity! Told in two person narrative, erratically flipping between Sam and Grace, which artfully presents this well-rounded love story. Some readers don't enjoy alternating chapters but I like the duality of it and each person can see the same event differently-it depends on who's eyes your looking through.
Grace is a strong female character, raising herself, as her parents keep busy with their own lives. She cooks and makes lovely dinners for her family and eventually for Sam. I'm always happy when a character has a close connection to food and I just knew I wanted to share this quiche scene. It illustrates how Stiefvater pulls her characters together over a simple common theme. Grace and Sam find themselves in a tight spot, needing to talk with Isabel. They are unsure of whether they can trust her or not and so Grace decides to invite her over to help make dinner~in this way Grace and Sam can judge Isabel's character while they all work together! It's brilliant and I love that Grace's character turns to cooking in a time of crisis.
Grace barely seemed to notice her [ mother] leaving. She gestured at me. 'Isabel, eggs and cheese and milk are in the fridge. Sam, we need to make plain old piecrusts. Would you preheat the oven to four-fifty and get us some pans?
Isabel was staring inside the fridge. 'There's, like, eight thousand kinds of cheese in here. It all looks the same to me.'
You do the oven, let Sam get the cheese and stuff. He knows food,' Grace said. She was standing on her tiptoes to get flour out of an overhead cupboard; it stretched her body gorgeously and made me want in the worst way to touch the bare skin exposed on her lower back. But then she heaved the flour down and I'd missed my chance, so I traded places with Isabel, grabbed some sharp cheddar and eggs and milk, and threw it all on the counter.
Grace was already involved with cutting shortening and flour in a bowl by the time I'd finished cracking eggs and whisking in some mayonaise. The kitchen was suddenly full of activity, as if we were legion.
'What the hell is this?' Isabel demanded, staring at a package Grace had handed her.
Grace snorted with laughter. 'It's a mushroom." ....'Saute those in there for a few minutes till they're nice and yummy.'
'Till they're yummy.' I repeated. (262-263)
Can't you just feel the pie crust and hear the butter sizzling, ready for the mushrooms? I can hear Sam whisking the eggs together, everything clicking and snapping into place. There is something so sexy about couples cooking together-something Stiefvater must know about in her own happy author life. I wish I wasn't obligated to share the quote's page number so you could be surprised when you do come upon this quiche-making moment. And what is a book, a good story made up of but wonderfully tailored moments shaped and fit perfectly together. In Shiver, she has created a harmony of words mixed with likeable characters immersed in a odd yet believable story. I anxious to read Linger, #2 in the Mercy Falls series. I can't buy it yet (my reading from my own bookshelves challenge), our public library doesn't have it so I'm left waiting for more about Sam and Grace.
If I cook while I wait I would whip up this delicious quiche from Kim's Easy French Food site. I should make this for my husband as an anniversary dinner-maybe I can talk him into helping me!! He's so cute in an apron! I also discovered this great stuffed eggplant dish-I adore eggplant. Eggplant has so much flavor when cooked just right.
Check out other tasty reviews of Shiver-someone may actually write less about the food obsession and more about the actual love story! This post is part of Weekend Cooking over at Beth Fish Reads. Pop over there and see what else is cooking...
Tarie at Into the Wardrobe.
Happy eating and reading!