The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais – Book Review

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

When Hassan Haji’s mother is killed by a mob in the family’s restaurant in Mumbai, his family flees the country so as not to be constantly reminded of their loss. After a brief stop in England with family, the Hajis move to Lumiere, a small town in France with the intent of opening an Indian restaurant. The town’s primary¬†restaurateur, Madame Mallory, is not at all pleased with this arrangement, particularly as the Hajis’ boisterous restaurant is located directly across the road from her stately restaurant, so she begins a campaign to shut them down.

You won’t hear me say this too often, but I actually think that “The Hundred-Foot Journey” was not long enough. I would have liked to spend more time getting deeper into many parts of Hassan’s young life. As it was, I felt like the story was progressing too quickly from plot point to plot point so that I wasn’t able to spend enough time with Hassan to truly get a feel for him, which kept me from caring as much about him as I would have liked.¬†I really appreciated what an authentic feel of memoir Morais imparted on Hassan’s fictional story, but I wish I could have been made to care a bit more about Hassan and his story.

I also really liked many of the details of food and the restaurant business but, again, I would have liked to dwell on many of these things longer so as to get a fuller picture of it all. Still, the idea of looking at cultural differences and adaptation through the lens of food is a fascinating one.

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is an interesting book with a great premise, but I think it could have been improved by being fleshed out a little more fully.

Buy this book from:
Powells.*
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*
Amazon.*

This review was done with a book received from Inkwell Management.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

10 comments to The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais – Book Review

  • Well that is certainly a complement if you wanted more!

  • This premise sounds very interesting and I’m sorry to hear that this didn’t work quite as well as you expected. However, if I ever come across a copy of this, I might still pick it up to read, the premise sounds simply too interesting :)

  • The author sounds like one to watch out for, since he left you wanting more!

  • This sounds like my kind of book! I will have to check it out, though will keep in mind what you said about it not being fleshed out enough.

  • It is rare to wish for a longer book! But I often feel the same way when I’m reading a book about another culture–there’s so much I need to know to understand the actions of the characters.

  • I am interested in this one – I know the feeling when you get to the end and just wish it wasn’t the end…

  • Ali

    Ooh, I know someone who would love this book for the combination of Indian culture and food. I’ll have to read it and see if I’d recommend it to her. Too bad it’s not an actual memoir, though, she likes those even more.

  • I read only your last paragraph because I have the book here to read.

  • I will be posting my review on Thursday and I really liked this book, especially all the references to food. I do agree with you though about wanting to know Hassan better. I didn’t realize it til I read your review, but to me it seems that it skipped over a lot of his adult life.

  • RobynL

    I could smell the odors and hear the sounds as I read the above; very interesting book that I’d love to win. thanks.