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We first became enamored with Annie Dean earlier this year after stumbling across her site AnnieDean.com. Combining tips for entertaining and etiquette, this modern day Miss Manners proves that you can juggle a hectic lifestyle (did we mention she’s a lawyer?) and still be ultra chic. This week she’s sharing her five easy tricks to make spring a little more fabulous. 

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On a recent spring day, I tied up these linen Supergas sneaks and headed to the park with Jessica Soffer’s brilliant debut novel, Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots. It was hours before I could tear myself away.

The story is of a professional chef and her daughter Lorca, a sensitive and earnest fifteen-year-old who believes that if she can perfect her mother’s favorite meal (a traditional Iraqi dish called Masgouf), her life will be as beautiful and as happy as she imagines it can be. In the meantime, she is haunted by her mother’s determined coldness and in secret moments, wounds herself in hopes that she’ll be reminded that she’s alive.

If ever there was a character that you want to reach out to, save, and explain that high school isn’t everything, Lorca is just that character. She is darling and kind and narrates her life in bursts of positivity, relating nearly every moment of her life – even the darkest – to an item of food. Her eagerness to become her mother’s darling sous chef is a staccato on her very consciousness, despite her deep-down knowledge that her mother will never give Lorca the acknowledgment or love that she craves. Lorca is a character that will stick with me for a long time. I’ve thought of her many times since I finished Soffer’s final page, mostly in her optimism, which is a strange takeaway for a character whose secret vice is self-mutilation.

Jessica Soffer, the author, is a twenty-seven year old downtown New Yorker who is as chic as they come. I was lucky enough to sit down with her for brunch at a shared favorite, The Butcher’s Daughter on Elizabeth Street. For more on Jessica, check out today’s post on my blog.

Pictured with Marble Apple Rattle available at John Derian, (212) 677-3917.

See what else we’re reading, seeing, and eating this month in our May Agenda.

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