The Promise Kitchen is quite an in-depth look into the lives of small town southern areas. Shelby comes from a low-income family in a town with no prospects or promises for her or her daughter. Shelby has big dreams, she wants to be a chef. And she appears to have the talent, but there's no place for her to find out at home.
So she ventures into the big city, leaving her daughter behind, to follow her dreams, get a job, and move her family to be with her. Shelby's struggle was incredibly real. I could feel the frustration as every time she got a couple steps ahead, something would go wrong and she'd end up almost back at the beginning. When her daughter gets sick, she thinks it's all over for good. But she has found a guardian angel she didn't know about.
Mallory is on the opposite end of the spectrum. She has a good job that she says she loves. To all appearances she has everything on track and going the right direction, but it's all a lie. Her life begins to spiral out of control and her friends aren't who she thought they were. As she fights to find her new way, her path corsses with Shelby and our stories collide in quite an interesting fashion.
I loved this book - but at times Mallory's story was a little too depressing. I know depression is real and very difficult to pull out of, but this drop into depression seemed a little more like wallowing in self-pity than an actual downward spiral. But don't let this little comment scare you away. I think the writing and storyline of The Promise Kitchen was amazing.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*