Starting from Scratch
Threatened with grief counseling, Olivia accepts a temporary position at the local Meals on Wheels, where she stumbles upon some unfinished business from her mother’s past—and a dark family secret. Startling announcements from two siblings also challenge the family’s status quo. The last thing she needs is a deepening romantic interest in a close but platonic (she thought) friend.
But while Olivia’s mother is gone, her memory and spirit continue to engage Olivia, who finds herself daring to speak when she would never have spoken before. Told with humor and compassion, Starting from Scratch explores the shifting of family dynamics in the wake of shattering loss and the healing power of cooking.
Reading Group Guide
When her mother dies suddenly, just as she is defending her doctoral dissertation, Olivia Tschetter’s world falls apart. Upon returning home she must face her father and three older siblings, who, despite all she’s accomplished, continue to treat her like a child. Through her passion for cooking—a love she had shared with her mother—Olivia finally begins to confront her grief. Along the way she makes both painful and joyous discoveries that change her perspective on herself, her family, and the many lives touched by her mother. Interspersed with delicious recipes, Starting from Scratch is a funny, bittersweet ode to the power of family bonds and the solace of good food.
1. Of all of her siblings, Olivia is closest to Annie, yet they are the farthest apart in age. Do you think their closeness is because of this difference?
2. Conversely, Olivia shows frustration and irritation toward her other two siblings, Ruby and David. see more