I picked up Chronicles of a Radical Hag for the cover but I stayed for the recipes (even if my Aunt Alma’s Goodwill Crescent Cookies didn’t turn out very crescent like). I loved the formatting of the story, with the present narrative mixed in with past newspaper articles and responses. I appreciated the growth of Sam, the son of the editor of the newspaper who is spending his summer working at the paper, over the course of the book and I loved him in the end.
I did find the book a little predictable (there weren’t really any surprises) but I found I didn’t really mind, there’s a reason some book formulas just work. I do think Haze’s newspaper articles were funny and cute but I’m not sure I believe that her more political ones would have actually been published in a small town in the 60’s/70’s (but I would be happy to be wrong about this assumption). I also think it’s very clear where Landvik stands on the political spectrum, which again didn’t bother me at all.
I loved that this book focused on community, appreciation for our societies elders/octogenarians, and writing as a way to work through your feelings. I’m excited to try a few more of Haze’s recipes and I’m looking forward to picking up another book by Landvik when I need a feel good book that isn’t just fluff.
Thanks to University of Minnesota Press for my free review copy!