Talking about this book? Be sure to tag it using #CookingForHerEyes #NetGalley
Susan Rakstang’s memoir recalls her early life as the child of Japanese-American parents and her mother’s cooking lessons full of delicious tastes, exquisite fragrances, and the visual art of preparing food; through her fast-paced, frenzied years in a battle with time juggling her responsibilities as a wife, mother of two children, and working outside the home as an architect—a pioneering path not often pursued by women in the mid-1970s—and then after retirement, when life suddenly takes a dark turn.
Susan’s beloved mother suffers a stroke and her friend Margaret, a pastry chef, receives a terrifying diagnosis of stage-four cancer of the tongue. With both women’s lives hanging perilously in the balance, Susan spends her days and evenings alternately tending to each. Learning Margaret’s cancer treatment will cause horrific pain and temporary loss of taste, Susan develops a pureed food preparation technique for her friend’s meals, focusing on the natural, visual beauty of food, and cooks for Margaret’s eyes.
Blending the detail and precision of an architect with the color, tempo, and texture of her classical music roots, Susan beckons her readers to embrace their senses as she takes them on her journey of music, food, love, and death in Cooking for Her Eyes. Organizing her story as Beethoven structured his Sonata No. 8, she transcribes her anxiety, passion, joy, sorrow, and resolution as the maestro expressed in his sonata.