The Kitchen Front
"We nourish who we love."
An unforgettable novel of a BBC-sponsored wartime cookery competition and the four women who enter for a chance to better their lives.
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 contest 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?
"Four different women in an English village all have their own reasons for wanting to win. "
— New York Post
“Thanks to her latest novel, Jennifer Ryan knows more than you could imagine about wartime cooking. ”
— Entertainment Weekly
“Ryan weaves in the hardships of war, [and] she also allows them to revel in the more lighthearted cooking challenge and, finally, in becoming fast friends. It's a delightful read."
— AARP Reviews
“Grab a cup of tea and a scone, and curl up with The Kitchen Front, Jennifer Ryan’s positively delicious novel about four British women competing in a cooking contest during World War II.”
Quotes from the book
"You'll be surprised what the power of friendship can do"
"Enjoy the small things, every little moment that makes you smile.”
"Food symbolizes the exchange of love."
"There's nothing like a good day's work to get over the glums."
"What we need is women with spirit, women who step forward and say 'I can do this'."
"Everything will always be just as it should be in the end."
"Nothing will change until you believe in yourself."
"Society's rules don't define us."
"Survival is about sticking together, and together we're stronger."
"Being a cook is both a blessing and a joy."