“I have a moment of pure pleasure at being in Milan in the rush at a coffee bar, waiting for my macchiato. The baristas’ performance, as they reach for the white china cups while manipulating nozzles of steam into the milk and shouting across the counter, is almost balletic.” - Alexandra Shulman, In Vogue
Did you really go to the beach this summer if you didn’t have Call Me By Your Name in your cotton string bag, alongside your Turkish towel and your bottle of water?
Endless days spent diving into cool, sparkling water, eating what seems to be a never-ending bounty of seafood dinners supplemented sparkling elderflower drinks, afternoons lazily rowing boats up and down the shoreline foraging for wild raspberries to be sandwiched between two thick slices of sukkerkake and lashings of whipped cream.
“The rich do parties better than the rest of us. It’s not just the money or the every catered-for whim or the superiority of the alcohol and food. It’s a certain unquantifiable atmosphere that comes from other people’s excitement. We are turned on by wealth, us lesser mortals. We don’t want to be and yet we are.”
Rachel Khong is, or rather was, the editor of the sadly-closed food magazine Lucky Peach and this is her first novel. It is fantastically easy to read – the kind of thing you can flick through on a Sunday morning and find yourself finishing in the afternoon, even including breaking for cups of coffee and mid-afternoon pastries.