in books, meme, review, thursday tea

thursday tea (may 14th)–kate christensen’s the epicure’s lament

thursdayteav1 It’s time for Thursday Tea again! Thursday Tea is hosted by Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog , and it’s a weekly meme. To play along, all you need is some tea, a book, and the will to answer some very simple questions: what tea are you drinking (and do you like it)? What book are you reading (and do you like it)? Tell us a little about your tea and your book, and whether or not the two go together.

The tea: I’ve had a cold all week and the only reason I’ve survived is Tesco’s Soothing Lemon and Chamomile tea. It has a strong lemon flavour, which I like, and it goes very well with honey to soothe the scratchy throat.  I’ve gone through an entire box of it in about five days.  I tried a very fancy tea we’d gotten as a gift, but I have to be honest–this tea hit the spot and made me feel much more human. Highly recommended.

The book: Kate Christensen’s The Epicure’s Lament is a fantastic book.  It’s main character, Hugo Whittier, is a gourmand, a slob, a caring uncle, and, occasionally, a terrible, terrible person.  He is hiding out at Waverley, the family home, demanding solitude and determined to die from Buerger’s disease, which, if he continues to smoke, will kill him.

This sounds like a depressing premise, and it is, but Christensen’s wry prose and Hugo’s enjoyment of everything (including the misery of others around him and the attractions of much younger women) infects the book with a sense of hope and humour.  It’s also one of those books that sends the reader on after it is finished.  Hugo makes the works of Maupassant, Montaigne, and MFK Fischer sound as entrancing as the recipies he occasionally scatters into the narrative.

The Assessment: Well, aside from the fact that I enjoyed both of them, the tea and the book don’t really go together.  In fact, unless it involved the seduction of  a housewife, I don’t think Hugo would ever touch tea.  But, they still make an enjoyable combination and a wonderful distraction from a cold.