Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home

Kim Sunee, Author
Kim Sunee, Author . Grand Central $24.99 (374p) ISBN 978-0-446-57976-6
Reviewed on: 09/17/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Paperback - 376 pages - 978-0-446-69790-3
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On making Sunée's acquaintance in the introduction to this charming memoir, it's hard not to envy the young woman swimming laps in the pool overlooking the orchard of her petit ami 's vast compound in the High Alps of Provence, but below the surface of this portrait is a turbulent quest for identity. Abandoned at age three in a Korean marketplace, Sunée is adopted by an American couple who raise her in New Orleans. In the 1990s she settles, after a fashion, in France with Olivier Baussan, a multimillionaire of epicurean tastes and—at least in her depiction—controlling disposition. She struggles to create a home for herself in the kitchen, cooking gargantuan meals for their large circle of friends, until her restive nature and Baussan's impatience with her literary ambitions compel her to move on. The gutsy Cajun and ethereal French recipes that serve as chapter codas are matched by engaging storytelling. Alas, for all Sunée's preoccupation with the geography of home, her insights on the topic are disappointingly slight, and the facile wrapup offered in the form of resolution seems a shortcut in a book that traverses so much rocky terrain. (Jan.)

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