Heartbreaking, inspiring story of an accidental restaurateur

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Erin French grew up cooking in her family's diner--primarily so her father could take days off to drink--but was determined to become a doctor. But one summer during college, she got pregnant, and ended up back in Freedom, Maine, a single mother. Eager to become independent, she waits tables and tends bar in Belfast, Maine, meeting and getting married. She opens a successful restaurant, but her failing marriage, the stresses of running a business, and a doctor eager to write prescriptions rather than help her address her underlying problems, leads her to develop addictions to prescription medication.

While she is in rehab, her husband seizes all their joint assets and gets custody of her son. Back in Freedom, she starts all over again, and with the help of devoted friends--many in some way damaged like she is--she builds another successful restaurant, The Lost Kitchen.

Two of the things I love most--Maine and food--figure prominently in this book. It's difficult to understand how Erin was drawn in to a relationship with her first husband, but perhaps writing after the fact, she couldn't make him sound charming. In any event, the memoir is well worth reading, for foodies and nonfoodies alike.