Book Review: “Sweetbitter” by Stephanie Danler




It’s sweet, but definitely bitter.

Stephanie Danler’s debut national bestselling novel, “Sweetbitter,” has become a phenomenon female coming-of-age story that will have you enticed up to the last page.

Tess, the young protagonist, has just landed a job at an elite New York City restaurant, modeled after the renowned Union Square Café, and rents out a room in a small Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment. The novel is broken up into seasons, opening with Summer.

Tess faces many difficulties adapting into the big apple and forming friendships with her co-workers.

While there are many small plots within “Sweetbitter,” other reviews mentioned a lack of plotline. But Tess struggles to not fall for bad- boy bartender Jake, drugs, alcohol, and finding her purpose not only with her job, but her move to New York City which are prominent complications throughout the 300 pages.

Danler’s lyrical prose and ability to captivate the reader into the lifestyle in which Tess is leading is spectacular. Danler does an incredible job of letting the reader understand the language
of a restaurant.

Throughout the novel, there are pages of random dialogue, which is never stated of who says what of the “restaurant talk.” If you’ve been in the restaurant industry, or are curious to know the ins and outs of a reputable restaurant, “Sweetbitter” unfolds the secrets that happen behind closed kitchen doors.

You won’t be able to put this book down until you’re wanting more of the sweet, yet bitter taste that you’re left with.