Hungry, the Stars and Everything

Hungry the Stars and Everything Helen Burns is a food critic with a big black hole in her past But when she embarks upon a tasting menu at a mysterious restaurant she finds over the course of the meal that she is forced to confront

  • Title: Hungry, the Stars and Everything
  • Author: Emma Jane Unsworth
  • ISBN: 9780956802613
  • Page: 266
  • Format: Paperback
  • Helen Burns is a food critic with a big black hole in her past But when she embarks upon a tasting menu at a mysterious restaurant, she finds over the course of the meal that she is forced to confront her deepest, darkest memories for better or for worse

    One thought on “Hungry, the Stars and Everything”

    1. I loved this book. The whole tale, our protagonist's life story, is woven and connected to a 5-star meal. She is eminently human; weak, broken, sad, passionate, full of life and yet fleeing from it. The author's way of turning a phrase, and her descriptions of love and desire and the terror of settling, the insanity of knowing how and where you belong, are perfect. Our character isn't perfect, but she is so relatable.We learn about her relationship with the devil (and I liked the lack of a clear [...]

    2. I am really sad about this book. SPOILER ALERTIt starts off GREAT! All through the story, it's GREAT! And then the end happens, and it totally has a Hollywood ending that I would never believe in a million years. And there was a slightly mystical thread that ran through the book, which I kept expecting to go somewhere. Instead it slowly just dwindled away for no apparent reason. So I am sad about the book. I really, really, really loved it and would recommend it to anyone interested in magical r [...]

    3. This was so weird, I just need a few days to think about my review. I know it's not new, I am backtracking and trying to catch up on some piles of books collecting dust. I've been neglectful of my books

    4. This had some lovely pieces of writing and I snipped some great quotes and passages, but ultimately I think it promised more than it delivered and some of the plot devices became more than a little tiresome. And the ending! Don't get me started on the ending.

    5. There’s lots I want to say about Emma Jane Unsworth’s debut novel, Hungry, the Stars and Everything, including drawing attention to perfect little passages such as this -“Children aren’t supposed to like dark chocolate. It’s one of those bitter things that you are meant to acquire a taste for later in life, like olives and self-pity. But I was different. I enjoyed the taste of wrongness in my mouth…”Instead, I’m taking my lead from the book itself, where Helen, the main character [...]

    6. Having taken a day to reflect on this, whilst I wasn't overtly bowled over by the reveal of the protagonists 'black hole', I have to say that I really did enjoy the emotional turmoil that unfolded over the courses of a gourmet tasting menu. Helen is a food critic, and when a proposal from her boyfriend stirs up past history, she literally confronts her past with each course. Clever, fluid and transitioning easily between her last and the present critique, I did find myself turning the pages with [...]

    7. I don't know how to review this book.It took me over a year to read, not because I found it difficult to read or wasn't enjoying it, just because we never seemed to be in the same place at the same time. I did enjoy reading it though. I loved Helen, our heartbroken and dissatisfied narrator, how she was eminently human (read: selfish, indulgent, flawed), I loved the writing, the level of detail. And yet I felt somewhat let down by the magical realism strand of the story, I didn't feel like it pa [...]

    8. Helen is a successful food critic. For the past few years she has been living with Pete, a wonderful, sensitive man who has just asked her to marry him but somehow she can't say yes. She has a secret past that she has never revealed to Pete. While she dines alone at a chic new restaurant she reviews her life and tries to understand what went wrong. She elects to have the 11 course tasting menu and the story unfolds gradually along with each delicious course described in exquisite detail and by t [...]

    9. I liked that this book has an air of escapism, I liked that it was written by an English author so I had to look up some words and there were some interesting vocabulary choices and I thought that the main character's relationship with her mom was interesting. But and this is a big But - I felt like this book would have been better without the main character, she was a stumbling block and as the main character, she was in the book a lot (and probably rightly so). It would make a good bookclub bo [...]

    10. Such an enthralling and wonderful read. Combining the supernatural, family, food and love. Following how Helen's emotions can be affected and reawakened through the course of a meal. I love the way Emma writes and the little nods to Manchester and Liverpool make me feel even more involved in the story. I have that sense of mourning now I've finished it but it has made me want to read Animals again.

    11. I probably read this too soon after listening to Animals so it paled a little in comparison to how intense that book is but I still really enjoyed this book. I like reading about food and memory and stroppy women. The ending felt a little false to me but is was satisfying like a film so I can understand they why of it.

    12. *******SPOILER ALERT*******So much going for this beautiful book, but I never did understand her feelings for Luke, or how him giving up his job in research, but staying in France was in anyway 'for her'. His job was never the problem. It all seemed a bit convenient how he'd magically straightened himself out.

    13. It's quite sad really that AA Gill's death reminded me of how much I enjoyed this book a while ago, but it's this familiar mixture of being brazen and walking over a seeping melancholy, all mashed up with talking about food from the perspective of each of the five senses that brought it all back.Fabulous book.

    14. I thought this book had a lot of promise, but it really didn't go where I expected and I felt a bit uncomfortable with the ending. I'm not really sure what message the writer was trying to share about relationships, but I certainly didn't get a good one from it!

    15. Transcending the chick lit shackles handed to it (unfairly and without merit, in my opinion), this is a sumptuous and Falstaffian read wherein astronomy, cooking, magic and pure writing merge for heart-stopping effect. A wonderful book.

    16. I really loved this book. I wish the deal-with-the-devil aspect of the beginning book would have been woven more into the story, but all in all, a satisfying read with some lovely imagery. I can't wait to read Unsworth's next work.

    17. There was a lot I liked about this book, the premise, the writing. But I never really understood Helen's feelings for Luke, and why she returned to him. Ending was disappointing too.

    18. This book is just like the 11 course tasting menu the main character reveals herself through, a delicious treat, and left me wanting more.

    19. Beautifully written, capturing the hunger of love, emptiness and rage. The devil is woven through, and the food descriptions are sublime

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