In Merinac, Kansas there have always been two fried chicken joints: Mimi's and Frannie's. Legend has it that the two restaurants, started by sisters, have been in a feud for generations and when Amanda --- one of Mimi's descendants who married one of Frannie's -- calls in Food Wars, things kept buried for decades start coming out. It's a delightful summer read, full of family conflict as well as intriguing characters and comes with a charming, home-grown ending. If it doesn't make you smile, and then want to go get some good, homemade fried chicken, you probably read it wrong.
— Melissa Fox
Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster.
In tiny Merinac, Kansas, Chicken Mimi's and Chicken Frannie's have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state--and the legendary feud between their respective owners, the Moores and the Pogociellos, has lasted just as long. No one feels the impact more than thirty-five-year-old widow Amanda Moore, who grew up working for her mom at Mimi's before scandalously marrying Frank Pogociello and changing sides to work at Frannie's. Tired of being caught in the middle, Amanda sends an SOS to Food Wars, the reality TV restaurant competition that promises $100,000 to the winner. But in doing so, she launches both families out of the frying pan and directly into the fire. . .
The last thing Brooklyn-based organizational guru Mae Moore, Amanda's sister, wants is to go home to Kansas. But when her career implodes, helping the fading Mimi's look good on Food Wars becomes Mae's best chance to reclaim the limelight--even if doing so pits her against Amanda and Frannie's. Yet when family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?
About the Author
KJ Dell'Antonia is the former editor of Motherlode and current contributor to The New York Times, as well as the author of How to Be a Happier Parent. She lives with her family on a small farm in Lyme, New Hampshire, but retains an abiding love for her childhood in Texas and Kansas.
“A charming first novel about family, regrets, and second chances. Dell’Antonia deftly deals with issues of mental illness, marriage troubles, and dreams deferred, all the while telling a funny satire of reality TV. An utter delight from start to finish.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Mae and Amanda are spirited characters, and their foibles are told with care and humor. Recommended for Food Network and HGTV watchers, this first novel is plucky, heartwarming, and a welcome distraction from the news of the day.”—Library Journal
“Be warned: you’ll crave fried chicken throughout.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Dell’Antonia writes convincingly and sympathetically about complicated family relationships, giving Mae and Amanda each relatable flaws. The Food Wars scenes are a fun peek behind the curtain of the reality TV world, and the small-town warmth of Merinac is comfortingly quirky. A charming and satisfying story about family bonds that will make meat eaters everywhere crave fried chicken.”—Kirkus Reviews "Nobody knows the humor and pathos of complicated family relationships better than K.J. Dell’Antonia, which is why this story about sisters and fried chicken and reality TV is such a satisfying read. It’s like the comfort-food of novels: warm, memorable, and wholly original. I loved it."—Laura Zigman, author of Separation Anxiety