Tuesday 25 January 2022

Book Review: The Language of Food by Annabel Abbs

I have been excited to read The Language of Food for absolutely ages, so when I got the chance to read the beautiful advanced copy, I was absolutely elated. It was everything I could have hoped for and more. Read on for my full review.


This novel is absolutely exquisite! If I had even an ounce of talent to be able to write a book, this book is how I would love to write. The descriptions, setting of time and place, the food, the characters… oh my it was simply divine! I don’t even like cooking (I just don’t have the time and patience for it) but the sensational and evocative descriptions of the ingredients and the dishes nearly had me straight in the kitchen!

This is the fictional story of real-life Eliza Acton, poet and food writer who produced one of England’s first cookery books aimed at the domestic reader. The Language of Food gives us a beautiful story of how she accomplished this feat.

Told from two different perspectives, from two very different backgrounds, we are thrown straight into the difficulties two women face in 1837. We have Eliza from the upper classes and Ann Kirby, her kitchen maid who has known poverty of the worst kind. As a woman of the 20th and 21st centuries, it is infuriating at times to read the simple things that women were denied simply because they were women. But I loved to read how in their own ways, Ann and Eliza refused to be tied down just because society tried to stifle them.

The Language of Food really was a work of art (the cover is also stunning). Annabel Abbs’ writing is phenomenal. I was completely wrapped up in this sensuous story and I knew I was right to be excited about it. Historical fiction fans this really is a must-read.

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