family and food

In a recent order our large print copy of Julia Pandl's Memoir of the Sunday Brunch arrived. I checked it in, and curiosity got the better of me, so I flipped to the back and read the synopsis; it read something vague, like, "a story of a woman looking back on her life and her time working in her father's restaurant as a teenager..." or something like that...enough to intrigue me.

I finally got around to reading the book this weekend and enjoyed it for many reasons, but mostly because I appreciated the parallels in our lives: we've both worked in Kitchens; are the babies of our families, are both Catholic with very devout mothers and skeptical, though believing fathers; had insane workaholic fathers. I had to laugh outloud when I read certain passages, it was as though someone had stolen lines from my own teen journal!

The story looks at her family, but really focuses on George Pandl, Julia's Dad--the first half of the book chronicles her young years and days working (like all 9 kids in her family did) in her Dad's restaurant, while the second half looks at George in advanced age, with Julia struggling with how to deal with her aging parents. The book is a sometimes funny, sometimes poignant look at stepping into the roles we are called to and the traces these roles leave on us. I really enjoyed it.


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