Set in 1950s Louisiana, Mandy Mikulencak’s beautifully written and emotionally moving novel evokes both The Help and Dead Man Walking with the story of an unforgettable woman whose quest to provide meals for death row prisoners leads her into the secrets o
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it was amazing
The Last Suppers is a 2017 Mandy Mikulencak Kensington publication.
A thought provoking, complex, and moving story-
Ginny works at Louisiana’s Greenmount State Penitentiary during the 1950’s as a prison cook. She has started a program for the death row inmates where she offers to cook them anything they desire for their ‘last meal.’
Ginny has a very complicated past which, once it is revealed, will explain her deep devotion to her job, which has wrought complications between her mother, Miriam, an
3.5 Food for comfort, a particular food that brings back memories, a time when someone cared enough to make something that made us feel better. Food can have many different meanings, and for Ginny it is what she provides as a cook at the penitentiary, what she feels she needs to do by providing last suppers for the men on death row. Raised on the grounds of the prison, her father a guard, a horrifying memory from that time, has haunted Ginny. Now her last suppers will provide a doorway into her
A very different subject for a novel, one filled of food and love, but also so much ugly, a past that wasn’t what it seemed. Things never forgotten, and how this was the frame for where Ginny finds herself now. We watch as Ginny handles each new barrier, discovery. How she grows and changes in light of the unveiling of a past that rears its ugly head. We learn some of the stories of the men on death row, not just from what they request for their last meal, but also from journal entries.
So much of this novel revolves around food, as it does for many of us in our own lives. In the sisters group where we read this, we all stated what we would request as a last supper. Mine was meatloaf and mashed potatoes, my all time comfort food. So many memories attached to food, and so it was for the men in this novel. Recipes are provided at books end.
A finely written novel, one that is thought provoking. A very different take of a young woman, coming into her own, in light of some terrible occurrences, one I wish didn’t have to happen, but couldn’t see it going any other way either. A good ending, a very realistic one, I think.
ARC from Netgalley.
The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak is a complex, interesting, and a tightly written novel with a lot of depth within the pages of this book.
We were lost in the deep-rooted, earthy coulee with two of our Traveling Sisters reading The Last Suppers with us and we all really enjoyed this interesting story that brought some food for thought to our discussion.
Mandy Mikulencak does a good job capturing the emotional memories surrounding the food that left us thinking and discussing our favorites tha