Archive for the ‘friends’ Tag

Traveling Through Grief   Leave a comment

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Dear Edward made me cry – multiple times with sad and happy tears, and (spoiler alert) not only at the end. Ann Napolitano has crafted a moving novel about loss, survival and choices.

Eddie Adler is 12 years old when he boards a Los Angeles-bound flight from New Jersey with his older brother Jordan and their parents. He’s the only survivor when the plane crashes; thereafter he’s known as Edward.

Alternating between Edward’s recovery over the span of three years, are chapters chronicling the flight ranging from the mundane (seating arrangements and in-flight meals) to the captivating (vivid descriptions of some passengers and conversations).

Although he survived, Edward is emotionally broken. He was close to his parents and Jordan, only three years older. He moves in with his maternal aunt and uncle. All grieve their losses.

The personalities of a few passengers are richly portrayed. The more the author invests in their development, the harder it is to accept knowing they die in the crash.

Edward develops a connection with Shay, the no-nonsense girl next door. She has a history of being on the fringe with her peers, which is where Edward finds himself; as a survivor he’s an oddity. Their friendship is a thing of beauty. Many challenge Edward’s reluctance to move forward, but Shay is the most consistent.

His discovery of a cache of letters written after the accident provides glimpses of his fellow passengers, the good and bad of human nature, and reasons to look ahead.

Dear Edward
Five Bookmarks
The Dial Press, 2020
340 pages

Fondue Fun   Leave a comment

A cellar may conjure something dark and musty; fortunately, neither describes the Mona Lisa Wine Cellar. This offspring of The Mona Lisa Fondue Restaurant in the space above features an extensive wine list along with cheese and chocolate fondue.

cheesesign

The super-friendly one-person staff oversees the 10 or 12 tables. Even though the menu is limited, diners still have decisions to make. For example, it’s not just cheese fondue. It’s possibly Old World, New World, South of the Border, Creamy Fontina, Greek Isle, or Brie. We opted for two fondue pots: Old World and Brie. These not only complemented one another, but also were the right amount for our group of four. The Old World is a blend of Emmental and Gruyere cheeses in a white wine base; the Brie, too, was in a white wine base and accented with almonds slivers. Both  were gooey with nutty undertones; the Brie was slightly creamier. Bite-size pieces of bread, fresh fruit and raw vegies are served for dipping.

cheesedrip

Even if one of my friends was not celebrating a birthday, we were primed for chocolate fondue. Again, a number of choices are available including dark, milk and white. Further flavor profiles are created with the addition of liqueurs. We chose dark chocolate and chocolate with raspberry. Fresh fruit, cookies, marshmallows, pound cake, Angel food cake and brownies are served for dipping.

fonduedessert

The beauty of fondue is that it’s communal and requires a slow pace. Add a bottle of wine and the meal is rich in taste and camaraderie.

Mona Lisa Wine Cellar
Four Plates
733 Manitou Ave.
Manitou Springs, CO