‘Exhilarating to read – thoughtful, heart-warming and poignant, with a quiet intelligence and elegance that does its heroine proud’ Bridget Collins
A recipe for success
Eliza Acton, despite never having boiled an egg, became one of the world’s most successful food writers, revolutionizing cooking and cookbooks around the world. Her story is fascinating, joyful and truly inspiring.
The award-winning author of The Joyce Girl seamlessly intertwines recipes and meticulously researched history, serving up the most thought-provoking and page-turning historical novel you’ll read this year. Explore the enduring struggle for women’s freedom, the exhilarating power of friendship, and the creative joy of cooking, through the life of Eliza Acton – finally out of the archives and into the public eye.
England, 1835. Eliza Acton dreams of becoming a poet, but when she takes her new manuscript to a publisher, she’s told that ‘poetry is not the business of a lady’. Instead, he demands a cookery book.
Eliza is hesitant but when her bankrupt father is forced to flee the country, she has no choice but to comply.
Although she has never cooked before, she is determined to learn and to bring her skills as a poet to the craft of recipe writing. She hires young, impoverished Ann Kirby as her assistant and, before long, the two women develop a radical friendship crossing the divides of age and class. Together, Eliza and Ann break the mould of traditional cookbooks, changing the course of food writing forever.Â But in the process of doing so, their friendship is pushed to its very limits.