Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2013
4 stars, 336 pages
ABOUT THE BOOK: Jessica Soffer’s debut novel is a story of love, loss, betrayal, and finding happiness in yourself and others. We oscillate between Lorca and Victoria, two women very different in age but very similar in their love for food and cooking. Lorca is 15 and has moved to New York City with her mother. Lorca tries to win her mother’s love and appreciation through her cooking, but her mother is extremely self-absorbed and doesn’t notice Lorca’s efforts. So L fills this gap in her life with cutting and other forms of self-harm. When she overhears her mom talking about the masgouf (a fish dish) that she had years ago, Lorca is determined to make it for her.
Victoria, an immigrant from Baghdad, has recently lost her husband, who never forgave her for giving up their only child. In the wake of his death, Victoria becomes determined to find their daughter and make amends. Her neighbor, Dottie, cons her into hosting a cooking class, to which only one person shows up: Lorca. The two of them strike up a friendship and when Victoria learns that Lorca’s mother was adopted, she begins to hope that Lorca is her family.
Soffer’s ability to create two distinctly different voices, young and old, in the first person POV is incredible! Lorca and Victoria’s insecurities and desires come through distinctly. I loved the food analogies peppered throughout the book (see what I did there), which made it feel authentic. The book is rich with Iraqi-Jewish culture and FOOD. I just love books about food. I was hungry pretty much the entirety of Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots. The only thing I didn’t like were the two sections from Joseph. I thought they felt out of place and unnecessary, because he’s dead and we could learn what he had to tell us through like a journal entry or a conversation between (living) characters.
ABOUT THE OUTFIT: My dear little momma’s girl, don this school-appropriate skirt that’s color reminds you of the lemons marinating in Victoria’s kitchen. Pair it with this youthful blouse, which is flirty and fun for your trips to the book store to scope out the help. This jacket will keep the chill at bay, and cover up the scars on your arms.
These boots are the color of pistachio shells (the same as the cover) and hide the many scars on your feet and legs. This magenta bag holds all of your school work and recipes and such. These earrings give you hope that the masgouf you make for your mom will make her love you. And finally this Eu Du Perfume Let Them Eat Cake, is what you wear when you realize you don’t need her, because you have all the love you could want from Victoria.