Best Book of the Week!
Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots is a brilliant, touching novel about the complexity of human relationships and the longing for love and acceptance. It is also a mouthwatering novel centered around food and the love of cooking. (I have no idea, though, why lemons are on the cover instead of apricots.)
Lorca is a teenage girl who yearns for love and affection from her mother Nancy. Nancy is a noted chef who remains emotionally aloof, so Lorca tries to please her by cooking food that she likes. The two live in a small New York apartment with Nancy’s sister Lou, who seems jealous of any attention Lorca gets from Nancy.
Lorca cuts herself for release, because something feels better than nothing. When she is caught doing it at school, she is expelled for a week. Instead of getting Lorca help, her mother informs her she is sending her away to boarding school.
One night Lorca overhears Nancy tell Lou that the best food she ever ate was masgouf at a restaurant that has since closed. Lorca believes that if she can learn to cook that dish for her mother, she won’t be sent away. So, she begins trying to find out about the restaurant with the help of her friend Blot.
Victoria narrates the novel in alternate chapters with Lorca. She is an old Jewish woman who fled Iraq with her husband Joseph when they were young. The two used to own and run the restaurant, which they closed when Joseph became ill. He dies early in the novel.
Victoria is full of regret, because she was so afraid that Joseph would love their child more than her that she insisted upon giving up their daughter for adoption when they were young and refused to have another child. Now she feels she deprived Joseph of part of his life and wants above all things to find their daughter. When she first sees Lorca, she is sure she is her granddaughter, and Lorca, whose mother was adopted, soon believes Victoria is her grandmother.
Whether this is magical thinking or not you can find out by reading the novel. It is ripe with the flavors and scents of the Middle East. This novel will touch you. It will also make you want to run out and eat some Middle Eastern food. Oh, and the recipe for masgouf is included.