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I don't know if you remember that I reviewed the film Babette's Feast earlier this year. I have always wanted to read the story and was pleased to see that my library had Isak Dinesen's collection Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard, which contains "Babette's Feast."
The summary for the story is, of course, very much like the summary for the film.
In a small coastal village in Norway, live two old women, the spinster daughters of a very conservative protestant leader. In 1871, Babette arrives at their doorstep after having escaped a war-torn France, looking for work as a cook and housemaid. The sisters, take her in, although they are not comfortable with the facts that Babette is both French and a Catholic. But once they explain that "luxurious fare" is "sinful" and that their "food must be as plain as possible," Babette seems to settle in.
Twelve years later, Babette wins 10,000 francs in the French lottery and begs the sisters to let her cook a feast in honor their late father. At the banquet table, the righteous have no idea what hit them, and they cannot remain unaffected.
Unfortunately, the food-related quotes I'd like to share would spoil the story. But I can assure you that this quick read will appeal to anyone who believes in the magic of superior food and drink.
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Published by Vintage Books USA, 1993
Challenges: Support Your Library, 100+
Source: Borrowed (see review policy)