Henry First and his wife Dolores own the restaurant Firsts. Henry crafts exquisite meals while Dolores manages the house. Unfortunately the restaurant isn’t doing well. It’s located in a part of town that was up-and-coming when the economy was booming but becoming derelict now that the economy isn’t. Firsts is struggling in the shadow of the FK&F-owned restaurants when Henry decides to enter a contest to determine the best restaurants in town. On the day the judges are scheduled to visit, an accident occurs in the kitchen. This mishap, combined with a mistake in the serving, results in the judges being served the wrong, but absolutely arresting, dish. This simple snafu catapults Henry, Dolores, and Firsts into the limelight and into the cross-hairs of Patrice Czarny, head of FK&F’s food division. Now Firsts has lines stretching around the corner, and Patrice wants this threat to FK&F’s dominance eliminated. Henry and Dolores are faced with several choices: do they sell out? Do they share the secret of their sudden success? What are they willing to do to succeed?
Henry First starts strong with the story of the contest and the mishap in the kitchen. The reader immediately identifies with Henry who seems like a likable character and wishes for Firsts’ success. As the novel goes on, Henry makes some questionable decisions with ugly results, and everyone shows their animal side; it’s not a flattering view of humanity, and it can be hard to swallow. There were also some confusing ambiguities in the narration. The relationships among the supporting characters weren’t always clear, and gaps in time combined with Henry’s inebriated perspective were sometimes bewildering. That said, these same ambiguities would make Henry First a great book for clubs and classes; there are plenty of questions to ponder when the novel ends.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||252 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|