We didn’t end up having sex.

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Candace Walsh

I did a marathon read, where I couldn’t put down Candace Walsh’s Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Family and Identity. I was hooked from the beginning, but reading Kindle is not satisfying to my physical needs of marking the page or dog-earing favorite passages. I actually remember what side of the page I make a mark when reading a physical book and can refer to it in the future. So, I had to pause my reading and buy the physical book.

I’m so happy I did. Walsh’s writing style envelops and turns me, like I’m being traipsed across a ballroom. She also builds scenes with punchy descriptions that capture the reader’s senses. When she writes about food, it’s palpable. She describes a spicy burrito as “sinuous and I could sense its boundaries.”

There’s her first sex scene, of which I’ve read many, but this one is both raw and innocent at the same time. I’m not going to give you the goods, but I am going to cite a fantastically written list at the end of the chapter:

“…despite the loutishness, the snoring and the beery saliva and nicotine scented fingers, the manky boxers and his foxy odors, my guilt and ebbing sense of adventure, as dawn grayed the darkness and the low Western New York sunrise yellowed the grayness, I fell oddly in love.”

In my undergrad writing classes, we wrote lists. We read through Annie Proulx short stories underlining her lists. “Do this,” my professor commanded, “and your reader will experience the whole of your scene.”

Yes, Walsh could have simply written: we didn’t have sex and yet I fell in love with him. There are a bunch of ways this could have locked the reader out. Instead, we are invited into the dusky room, stinking of boy and sex with her.

This is a small part of the “identity” theme that is cleverly woven throughout this food and family narrative. One thing you might have to do while reading this book is make sure you’ve already eaten. The recipes are at the end, so don’t fret. You’ll get your chance to eat.

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6 responses to “We didn’t end up having sex.

  1. Kindle not satisfying, I agree. I’m glad I’m not the only one who starts on Kindle and ends up buying the actual book : ) … and great title too : )

  2. It’s so bothersome. I wish I could get into Kindle, but it’s probably never going to happen…I bring them on a trip with me, and get disgusted at the lack of page number and lack of ability to double dogear.

    • In case this makes a difference, on the new Kindle Touch that I have, it does show page numbers (maybe not on all books but it seems like all the newer ones)! And I don’t know about double but you can dogear : )

  3. I know just what you mean. I can remember physically and visually where favourite passages are located in my paper editions of books – and I like having a physical sense in my hands of the size and scope of the narrative and where I am located within it. And the fact that the book is a box that contains a world. To cut a long story short… like your post! Thanks for following me, too.

  4. **Walsh’s writing style envelops and turns me, like I’m being traipsed across a ballroom.**
    I LoOoooove your description of Walsh’s writing style.
    I love that you needed to read this the “old fashioned way to shade and fold and savor!”
    Fab Post.
    xx

  5. I’m going to get this book! Thank you for the wonderful introduction; as a person who is meddling with self-publishing, I adore the cover on this book: font and photo are gorgeous

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