The Kitchen Daughter

Ginny Selvaggio has always managed her quirks with strict parameters set out by her mother. She rationalises that she is “normal” by firmly reminding herself that normal does not in fact exist. Ginny does acknowledge that hiding in the walk in wardrobe with your hands shoved in your mum’s fluffy slippers is not quite standard practice for a 26 year old woman. However for Ginny, this routine is in fact normal. She only does it when she feels overwhelmed and only ever for one hour though – a rules established by her mum.

When Ginny’s parents tragically die, Ginny is thrown into grief and her everyday “normal” existence is threatened, particularly by the good intentions of her sister. Amanda desperately wants Ginny to get a diagnosis. Asperger’s Syndrome is manageable she says.

In an attempt to lose her grief, Ginny finds herself where she is most comfortable, in the kitchen, and in the process she discovers that she can bring to life the ghosts of the past.

The Kitchen Daughter is a thoughtful novel, that gives an insight into the world of Asperger’s. Jael McHentry writes with a sensitivity that leads that reader to believe that she has had first hand experience with Asperger’s Syndrome. The Kitchen Daughter is gloriously simple, with few characters and little “action” but with a twist that reminds readers of the importance of acceptance and the blessing of family and sometimes unlikely friendships.