Book Review: The Feasting Virgin by Georgia Kolias
This book has been a tough one for me to review.
It is extremely well written. It felt like I was reading a timeless classic with a unique central character that was experiencing an epic journey of discovery.
But this story did not make me happy and that is why I have struggled to pin down my thoughts.
Xeni is a Greek woman who is quite resolved to have a baby despite being a virgin. I mean, she truly believes that god will make her pregnant. It was confusing to me because I couldn’t decide if this character was quirky or had a mental illness.
Food is the driving force in this book. Xeni meets Callie in a grocery store trying to buy produce to make a great Greek meal to impress her son’s father, Gus. Xeni guides her through some produce selection and ends up offering to help her cook. Every chapter is a recipe that they will prepare. So if you are a foodie and want to feast on some authentic Greek dishes, this is the book for you.
So these two spend a lot of time together in the kitchen and grow to develop a connection despite Callie being very much embedded in a live-in relationship. Of course, Callie’s relationship with Gus is very fragile to begin with but the emotional infidelity bothered me a bit. Also, it was hard for me to understand Callie wanting to be with Xeni after discovering how naive and possibly mentally unstable she might be. But then… Callie might be a little bit off herself considering the completely mind blowing action she takes toward the end.
This would make the absolute best book club read. It brought out conflicting emotions and had so much ambiguity that it really requires discussion. I could have gotten this book entirely wrong, for all I know. I guess I will need to read reviews to see how others interpreted this.
Overall, this was an interesting and unique story. Very different from other books in this genre. It will make you think, give you mixed emotions, and a desire to talk about it when you are done.
I recommend this to people who like to read about Greek heritage, Greek cooking, self discovery, oppressive family influence, religion, connection, and virgin birth.