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Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs
By m j . hollingshead
Last edited: Saturday, March 08, 2014
Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010

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Chester Aaron’s Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs is a properly charming work focused on people, relationships, locations, idealistic perceptions, and surroundings all represented in dramatic detail and garlic.

Chester Aaron’s Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs is a properly charming work focused on people, relationships, locations, idealistic perceptions, and surroundings all represented in dramatic detail and garlic. It is a most remarkable combination to be certain.

While I have always liked adding a bit of garlic to food; reading Writer Aaron’s book has caused me to appreciate that garlic is not always garlic. I have even raised one little patch of garlic in my own garden. Reading Writer Aaron’s book I now realize there is garlic and there is GARLIC. I have no idea what variety is out in the garden bed hidden away among the weeks and basil. The tag on the planting box has long been lost. I just like the bouquet as I pull weeds and brush against the spiky green onion like stalks.

From Aaron’s initial sketch entitled Milli O’Keefe in which we meet the speaker/writer of the book and Milli, on to Sadie his cat, and the saga of one
neighbor’s affection for his dog, to Olga Kazhinsky; we wander with the speaker and his much-loved garlic as well as his relationships and friendships.

The writer says of himself - At age 65, I became serious about growing garlic.

I grow 93 different garlics that I have bought, traded or received from friends. Aaron goes on to state that he puts down soy-based newsprint to keep the weeds down in his garlic bed, he says it is a trick learned from good friend Robert Kourik, who is in Aaron’s opinion both a fine writer and a gardener.

On the pages of Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs the writer more or less records a slice of his life as a divorced, middle-aged, Jewish, professor of English who moved from San Francisco. Making the move to rural Sonoma County, California with his cat Sadie; Aaron has found gratification and pleasure from the ups and downs of garlic farming. His deeply personal sequence of events describing the societal aspects of cultures and groups to be found in Northern California makes for intriguing reading.

Aaron’s life story prior to California is no less an attention-grabbing narrative
in itself. 1923 was the year of his birth, in a coal-mine village in western Pennsylvania, 30 miles south of Pittsburgh. His was the solitary Jewish family in the rural community where one and all struggled to earn food, money, an education.

Everyone, says the author, including us, was poor. Aaron was an amateur boxer who played amateur football as well. He says his role in life was delineated by the two decades he lived in that township. Following high school Aaron served in the Army, and was with troops liberating Dachau.

A idiosyncratic and straightforward recollection complete with recipes, Garlic
Kisses and Tasty Hugs will appeal to readers who enjoy reading of garlic and recipes and slice of life all offered in anecdotal layout.

During his later years Writer Aaron says he has moved away from his former
life as a husband and professor, to become a dedicated cultivator of garlic. Following the unsettling pain of divorce, Aaron left city life to start over in a rural setting. Written in the first person in engaging, no-nonsense prose and loaded with pithy observations and self-deprecating asides Aaron presents his anecdotes in an easily read manner.

Aaron is an author with many published works including short stories and novels. Aaron’s title Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs sets the landscape for a work about garlic as well as kisses. The Kisses are the writer’s figure of speech for love.

He writes of affection that exceeds age, circumstance, and people. He speaks of love for others and critters, and cats in particular, especially Sadie.
Love for his garlic and the land, and life and the human spirit are all wrapped
up on one tidy packet. Aaron lived first on a sheep ranch in Sonoma County,
north of Berkeley, following his divorce. He says that experience has provided much grist for a number of young-adult novels.

Today Aaron and Sadie live on 4 acres near the Northern California community of Occidental where he is writing and farming garlic. His fiction and non-fiction are peppered with his memories, experiences and reminisces
of growing exotic garlic. His garlic today comprises nearly one hundred varieties from 30 countries.

Once a teacher always a teacher; Aaron today teaches a Memoir writing class at Santa Rosa Junior College. Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs is offered as a memoir type chronicle, a good follow up to others of his works is a little precipitate as a memoir, because Aaron is still living.

Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs is actually two books in one. The first section of thirteen anecdotes comprises the first 184 pages. The second part of the book features 18 recipes and vignettes. I like the asides including gardening tips, Aaron’s descriptions of settings, neighbors, critters and garlic.

Today Aaron is living and raising garlic and using garlic as the theme for all he writes. Devoting several hours a day to his garlic fields and more hours to
writing, Author Aaron’s writing aptitudes continue to flow in the form of novels, fiction, non fiction, magazine articles and screen-plays.

Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs is a very readable work perfect for a lazy summer day spent reading on the front porch in the shade. Happy to recommend Chester Aaron’s Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs.

Reviewed by Molly’s Reviews
molly martin
Product Details and Shipping Information from Amazon
Title: Garlic Kisses and Tasty Hugs
Author: Chester Aaron
Genre: Memoir

Product Details
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Zumaya Publications, LLC
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934135771
ISBN-13: 978-1934135778


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