Antebellum Awakening, Katie Cross

My friend Katie sent me the newest book in her Network Series over a month ago, and then she very patiently listened to my excuses about why I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet (I’d planned to do it in time for her launch – one of the most important times for newish writers to get exposure – and I failed rather epically at that…).

Instead, it ended up being one of my crazy November reads, launch date long past, and more importantly (to me), long after her own site’s contest to win handmade caramels (lovingly described in the book) was over. That sounds petty, doesn’t it? Is it really so important? Getting to taste food from the book you’ve been reading? I don’t know. Personally, I’m obsessed with going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter where I can drink butterbeer and stuff myself with authentic non-muggle treats, so I’d say from my perspective, it’s pretty devastating!

It doesn’t help that one of her great gifts as an author is making her readers insatiably hungry detailing freshly baked bread with pots of butter, cinnamon rolls straight out of the oven then loaded with frosting, and hard-earned post-workout breakfasts of eggs sandwiches and thick slices of cheese. I had to stop at one point and pull out my bread maker lest I be driven completely insane.

Honestly, I think I turned into a hobbit reading the second book in her series. I ate at least six (not very small) meals the day I started it, and I harassed her on twitter about the cruelty of such beautiful food prose. This is not to undersell the rest of the story (which I love because it’s basically all women and witchcraft and learning to use a sword), but food is not easy to write well into a novel. Most writers glaze over meals, but she clearly loves good food and doesn’t shy away from the precious communal experience that comes from sharing it.

Food is a bond, an alliance that strengthens the most important relationships in her world. There is an incredible power in that, and a truth of the human experience. Sharing a meal is a sacred trust that we often take for granted, but she writes it with such purpose, it’s impossible not to be drawn to the table.


Find Katie Cross’ blog here (especially if you want to find the link to her pinterest page and get even more delicious recipes to stuff yourself with).

14 thoughts on “Antebellum Awakening, Katie Cross

  1. Food is the pathway to social affairs. Marriage is finalized with the cutting of the cake. Birthday parties have cake. Cake at religious ceremonies. Even divorces have wine and cake. As Marie Antoinette stated, “Let them eat cake!” and then they cut off her head.

    1. So true! Food is so integral to the most important parts of our lives – celebrations, memorials, family – everything seems to come together around shared meals. It’s a beautiful thing!

        1. I don’t think so. I’ve always understood it to be a perversion of the original intent of the gesture, which was to share a bite of cake with your partner as a sign of your commitment to providing for them in your life together. I suspect the smashing of cake was just one couple’s idea of a fun twist and it spread.

  2. You found my weakness. *hangs head* I’m obsessed with food. I don’t eat bread because if I do, I binge. It’s a serious trigger for me. So we just don’t eat anything with bread unless it’s a special occasion or we are going out to eat.

    That’s why I describe SO many pastries and what not, because I SO miss it.

    Hope I didn’t throw any diet you were on off or anything :)

    1. Oh don’t worry, you didn’t ;) I tried giving up bread last year, and it just didn’t stick! Now I try to enjoy only the best versions of such foods I can find or make. Life is too short to waste on less than delicious carbs!

  3. I’m going to read the series just because of this review and the mouth-wateringness of it! You better review the next one in time for things like caramel contests … just saying …

  4. Isn’t it a great story? I agree that the descriptions of food, already mouth-watering in the first book, are getting truly yummy. The French I am was drooling as I was reading. Great job, Katie.

    1. Oh yes, the French definitely have a beautiful appreciation of good food! It’s one of the things I’ve always adored about the culture. Such dedication to the entire experience! It’s wonderful.

  5. Mmmm sounds good! I agree it’s hard to get good food descriptions in but sounds like she managed it! I think when a book makes you want to DO anything real, whether eat or whatever, it’s impressive!

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