This is my first review for a self-published author on my blog. The author contacted me with a very charming e-mail and told me his book was about romance and food. How could I not review it after that? The book, Brooklyn Bites: Truffle Fries & A Little Taste of Chocolate, is actually two short stories. It is also very short, approximately 18 pages. However, this did not detract from the quality of the book. The opposite is actually true of it.
Synopsis of the book taken from Amazon:
Brooklyn Bites is a collection of short stories that centers around the compelling people, diverse relationships and simply remarkable food in Brooklyn, New York. Truffle Fries and A Little Taste of Chocolate are the first two stories in the compilation.
In Truffle Fries, a steaming plate of truffle fries sits between a woman and the boyfriend she has loved for two years, the same man she now wants to punch in the eye or push off a cliff, or both. She lets the deliciousness of the pungent fries carry her away to far away lands of truffled decadence, where her boyfriend is no where to be found. Until he is.
A Little Taste of Chocolate opens with Rick and Shelly, a couple very much in love, as they awake, hungover, to the barks of the cute and irritating bulldog across the street. As Shelly dreads yet another tough day in the harsh economy, Rick cuddles her - the love of his life - and feeds her whispers of hope, his pure adoration, and a little taste of chocolate.
Before I posted my review tonight I actually went back and read it again because I was hovering between 3.5 and 4 stars. I very much preferred the second story but when I went back and re-read it, I enjoyed the first story more than I had during the first reading. Quite simply, Scott Stabile is an author to watch. I thought this was a beautiful compilation of stories. It was well written, appropriately edited and was a quick and delightful read.
The first story, Truffle Fries, was a good read. My only issue with this story was that I felt like it could have been expanded. I thought the ending was tied up too quickly and was very anticlimactic for me. The writing in this story was very literary and his descriptive prose makes you feel like you’re standing under a truffle waterfall with her. I really thought the author’s writing was beautifully lyrical. Although it wasn’t my favorite of the two, it was still really good.
The second story was worth the small price of this book. This was truly a moving story and had an extremely unexpected ending. It follows Rick and Shelly, a couple who have fallen on very hard times, some apparently due to their addictions and some due to the state of the economy. Each morning he watches her sleep, reminiscing about their memories together and then wakes her up with a piece of chocolate and a kiss.
Rick and Shelly are memorable because they could be any couple out there who is struggling to make it. The author takes us inside their heads for a little while and we see the hardships that other people face. It makes our lives seem much easier to bear. This was a wonderful piece of work, beautiful and haunting. It takes us into a world where the only thing that matters is love and even though there are worries and fear, as long as people stay together and are strong for each other, any trauma can be weathered.
I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderful look at relationships and shows us how food can bring people together. I believe that Scott Stabile will have much success as a self-published author if he continues to write high-quality pieces such as this one. I honestly have to say that this is hands down the best piece of self-published work I have read, not only for its literary quality but also for the formatting and editing that went into the book.