Book Reviews

Book Review: “Everything is Under Control” by Phyllis Grant

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Thank you @fsgbooks for my gifted copy of the new release, ‘Everything is Under Control‘! (pub date 4/21).

“What a beautiful, rich, & poetic memoir this is. Phyllis Grant writes of longing, suffering, celebration, family, & food with such delicate power. Like the best chefs, she knows how to make a masterpiece from a few simple ingredients: truth, taste, poignancy, & love. This is a wonderful book.”–Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.

From Amazon

Phyllis Grant’s ‘Everything Is Under Control‘ is a memoir about appetite–as it comes, goes, & refocuses its object of desire. With sparse, affecting prose, & an unsparing eye toward her, & her environment’s, darkest corners, Grant’s story follows the sometimes smooth, sometimes jagged, always revealing contours of her life: from her days as a dancer struggling to find her place at Juilliard, to her experiences in & out of four-star kitchens in New York City, to falling in love with her future husband & leaving the city after 9/11 for California where her children are born. All the while, a sense of longing roils in each stage as she moves through the headspace of a young woman longing to be sustained by a city, to a mother now sustaining a family herself.

Written with the raw transparency of a diarist, ‘Everything Is Under Control’ is an unputdownable series of vignettes followed by tried-and-true recipes from Grant’s table–a heartrending yet unsentimental portrait of the highs & lows of young adulthood, motherhood, & a life in the kitchen.

From Amazon

This is a short book, like 200ish pages, & 20+ of them are recipes. But I will tell you this, I felt like I read a much lengthier novel (in a good way) after I finished this book (in like 1.5 hours) & I found myself wanting to know more about this person. When I first started the book I wasn’t too sure about the writing style & but then it grew on me as I felt myself drawn into Phyllis Grant’s life.

Everything is Under Control” is written in powerful vignettes, kind of diary style without specific dates. Grant takes us on a grounding, eye-opening, raw, & uninhibited journey through her life, introduces us to some amazing sounding food along the way, & poetically describes what it’s like to go through post-partum depression & dysphoria, an eating disorder, an abortion, & more. Yes, there are some heavy subjects in this beautiful book, but Grant writes about these subjects with masterful, unflinching honesty.

From Amazon

I encourage you to read this book for yourself & see why sometimes short can be more than just sweet. The recipes at the back of the book all sound wonderful & I am definitely going to try making a few. Which brings me to my favorite quote in the entire book, that truly reasonated with me:.”When I cook, I am calm. And confident. Baking works. You just follow the rules. There is comfort in logic.”

Be sure to use BookStoreLink to find this book at an independent bookseller. Many have curbside pick-up, home delivery & e-commerce sites. They need our sales now more than ever!

And as always…stay home, stay safe, stay sane. Now go wash your hands!

(and PS….don’t forget to enter to win TWO true-crime books on my Instagram page. Click HERE to go there now!

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