The Kitchen Front [Book Review]

June 22, 2021

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (cover) A woman dressed in a red bouse and white apron holds a cookbook to her chest

Genre/Categories: Light historical fiction (WWII), Cooking, Friendship, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

A cooking competition meets WWII. Facing bombings, food shortages, and rationing, morale is low among the housewives of Britain. The BBC launches a cooking contest for a show called Kitchen Front. Although the first prize is a coveted chance to be the first female co-host of the show, four very different women discover a more valuable prize to be gained: friendship.

My Thoughts:

Characters: A varied cast of characters and their individual motivations ensure the enjoyability factor of this story: a widow and single mom needs to provide for her children, a kitchen maid envisions a better life, a wealthy lady married to an abusive and demanding husband leaves him, and a trained chef wants to gain recognition in a male-dominated field. Because they each have compelling reasons to desire the prize, some rules are bent and the competition is serious as they plan, prepare, and serve their dishes. Although two are more likable from the start, I found myself eventually rooting for each one.

Themes: Two of the most compelling themes include friendship and women helping women.

“The best gift one could ever have: friendship.”

“…however bad things may seem, with the help, understanding, and camaraderie of friends, we can make the world better for all of us.”

Writing: The Kitchen Front is told in a straight forward chronological timeline from four perspectives which facilitates easy and fast reading. This is a story that I enjoyed more and more as it progressed. I love how the author caused me to care about each of the characters and cheer them on. The Kitchen Front enabled me to image what British women from four walks of life experienced during one year of War11. If you enjoyed The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by the same author, you might enjoy this up-lit story!

Recommended: I’m warmly recommending The Kitchen Front for readers looking for lighter WWII stories, for fans of cooking and up-lit, and for those who enjoy friendship and women-helping women-themes.

Content Considerations: death of a spouse, death of a friend/mentor, grieving, domestic abuse

My Rating:  4 Stars

the Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (cover) Image: a young woman dressed in a red blouse and a white apron holds a recipe book close to her chest

The Kitchen Front Information Here

Meet the Author, Jennifer Ryan

Author, Jennifer RyanMy website:
Twitter: JenniferiRyan

Hello, I’m the author of National Bestseller The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, The Spies of Shilling Lane, and The Kitchen Front. Before I began writing, I was a nonfiction book editor with a passion for the Second World War. My warm and cheerful grandmother would tell stories about that era, both funny and fascinating, and the books are based on these.

If you have read any of my books, do get in touch and tell me what you think. And please visit my website for free monthly giveaways.


Is The Kitchen Front on your TBR or have you read it?

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.



  1. I really like this format you’ve got going with the characters/themes etc! I need to reformat my blog but ugh it’s so hard

    • Thanks Athena! One thing you can do is copy one word or phrase out of each paragraph (that represents the topic) and bold it for a subheading…. If you did that during the editing phase it might not be very time consuming! Thinking about a different format one little step at a time is doable! Good luck! Thinking about format is one way I can motivate myself to write the review! 😂

  2. Nice review Carol. I am definitely looking for lighter reads during the summer. I love cooking as well, so this sounds like it would be a winner for me.

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