Life Without a Recipe

By Diana Abu-Jaber W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2016, ISBN: 978-0393-35377-8, 267 pages, $15.95 Life doesn’t come with a set of instructions, but instead, each of us finds our own way. Author Diana Abu-Jaber shares her life journey in “Life Without a Recipe,” navigating growing up with an interesting mix of influential adults, including her German grandmother and Arab father. These individuals also connect to Abu-Jaber through distinctly different cuisines, something that receives a large focus throughout the book and Abu-Jaber’s life. The book follows her journey through childhood, marriage and child-rearing and how the various influences in her life impacted her choices and outcomes. A memoir, the book also delves into her challenges with infertility and her ultimate decision to adopt a daughter. “Life Without a Recipe” is a good read and a nice memoir. It doesn’t focus specifically on adoption, but weaves the struggles with infertility into the book, along with the adoption process and how life changes after the arrival of children. Some adoptive families will relate closely to Abu-Jaber’s experiences. It would be a pleasant read for a quiet Sunday afternoon. — Reviewed By Kim Phagan-Hansel  

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