Gina’s grandfather was a French chef whose life was cut short by a robber’s bullet. The only lasting legacy he could leave his family was his passion and talent for cooking.
Growing up poor but with a mother who is a gifted cook. Gina learns cooking a great meal is an act of love. An art that sustains and enhances life.
A world of new challenges, new friends, and new loves opens up for her when she’s chosen to cook for a Michelin-starred restaurant.
But danger lurks where one never expects it.
Can her passion for cooking help Gina survive and thrive in this world of privilege, pleasure and menace?
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Evy Journey, writer, wannabe artist, and flâneuse (feminine of flâneur), wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. Armed with a Ph.D., she used to research and help develop mental health programs.
She's a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her despite such preoccupations having gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen to spin tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue.
I open my eyes inside an ambulance. My shoulder feels numb but at least it’s not hurting anymore. I say to the paramedic sitting to my right, “Am I still bleeding?”
“No. You passed out from fear, shock. Just a few minutes. You lost some blood, but not as much as it looked. Don’t worry, they’ll patch you up good. We’re almost there.”
At the hospital, they put me on a gurney and wheel me directly to a room blazing with lights. People in shapeless blue garb, caps, and surgical masks fuss over me, sticking needles into my arm and wrapping monitors around it.
I close my eyes. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I’m supposed to be relaxing, waiting until my mother calls me to dinner. She says I need time away from pots and pans and refused my help in the kitchen. Can’t I rewind my life like a film, back to before I call Cristi?
An efficient voice breaks into my thoughts. “Can you breathe well enough?”
“Yes,” I say, glancing up at the woman with the efficient voice. I see only her eyes.
She puts an oxygen mask on half my face; and as cool liquid courses down my arm, she fades into blackness.
A smiling, maternal face is saying something—about me, I think. “Everything went well. We just finished stitching and bandaging your wound. We had to probe about a bit. The scissors were blunt. They left an ugly wound and grazed your shoulder blade, but luckily the wound didn’t go deeper. No serious harm done, although we’ll have to wait to see if there’s some nerve damage. If so, it may take a few weeks to have full use of your right arm again.”
I force myself to say “thank you,” but all I remember is “no serious harm.” That’s all I need, to know that I can go back to life, as usual.
“We’re keeping you overnight, at least. I think we’ll be able to discharge you tomorrow. We’re just waiting for hospital aides to take you to your room.”
A day in the hospital. What about Thanksgiving? “Are my parents here?”
“Yes. They’ve been informed about your room number so you’ll see them there.”
Sometime later, my parents come into the room. Mom is scowling, her eyes dark with worry. “Thank God, you’re okay. How are you feeling?” She pulls a chair next to the bed.
“Groggy. My shoulder is sore.”
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