I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Kate Jacob’s second novel, Comfort Food, which is set in Manhattan and the suburbs. Comfort Food is about a widowed woman named “Gus” (short for Augustus) who is approaching 50 and who for the past 12 years, has been a dutiful single mom to two now-adult daughters and star of a popular cooking show. The book starts with Gus having mixed feelings about organizing her own 50th birthday party. Those feelings get put on the back burner when the budget for her show gets cut in half and she’s forced to work with Carmen, a competitive beauty-queen turned cook who’ll do anything to get ahead. Meanwhile, Gus’s daughters deal with maturity and relationship issues while Gus’s friend Hannah, who lives in Gus’s guest house, is making psychological breakthroughs of her own. There are a lot of characters and it takes a while to get to know them all, but Gus’s perspective on things and the way she deals with her life and the lives of other is comfort food itself. So if you are looking for a light but enjoyable read, this is a good bet.