A fun, lively story about the long-simmering rivalry between two legendary families that serve "the best" fried chicken in Kansas.
Comfort food and family feuds are centerpieces of the fun, first novel by KJ Dell'Antonia (How to Be a Happier Parent). The author plunges readers deep into the complicated lives of two families, the Moores and Pogociellos--rivals who share roots dating back to the 1800s in Merinac, Kan., where two sisters originated a fried chicken business. Familial tensions flowed through generations, down to Amanda Moore, who worked for her mother's traditional, old-school fried-chicken establishment, Chicken Mimi's--and fell in love with and married Frank Pogociello. Amanda's romantic choice created a mother-daughter rift that deepened when Amanda went to work for Chicken Frannie's, the competing restaurant offering a more innovative fried chicken menu.
With both eateries facing financial crises, Amanda reaches out to a reality TV show where two restaurants compete for a $100,000 prize. Once Amanda's pitch is accepted, it's game on for the fighting, frying families. Amanda enlists her widowed mother-in-law at the helm of Chicken Frannie's to battle against the Chicken Mimi's team: Amanda's estranged mother and Mae, Amanda's Brooklynite sister, who returns to Merinac after her successful TV career and marriage suddenly start to fray.
As the two eateries face off ruthlessly amid the limelight of TV cameras and producers eager to stir the drama pot, long-simmering family history infused with old resentments and scandalous secrets rises to the surface. Dell'Antonia's delightful story dishes up juicy messages about the strength and fortitude of the female spirit, the meaning of happiness and the valuable bonds of family.
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $16.00 Paperback, 9780593085141, 304 pages
Publication Date: December 1, 2020