This book truly could have become a personal favorite and a five star except for a few depreciations that bring it down to four stars.
This book encompassed all the themes that make a book good but what could have made it great is depth. It had a beautiful ending, just the right touch of identity crisis, politics, disbelief in ones own influence in society, the little people vs big people idea, cancer, death, an engaging cooking/waitressing metaphor, and of course a little romance on the side.
However, despite the perfect ingredients, so to speak, the characters felt too much like caricatures of a small town community and some members like G T felt too idealistic for it to be relatable. Hope, the main character, had a perfectly structured conflict and past that allows the reader to discern her current situation and state of mind. Except even though It was written in first person, I had a hard time getting into her head and feeling anything significant for her and I could see on paper that she changed but I was not able to see that change in her while I was reading.
Hence I was able to think limitedly about the book after I finished reading because so much was resolved and not too much of it was applicable to my real world.
Despite it all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read that taught me a lot about waitressing and politics and was completely unique in the way that it mixed the two. Perhaps best about the book was the message about how everyone can make a difference in a thoroughly non- cheesy way and GTs response to his cancer which was rather inspiring. Definitely recommend!