She used to cook professionally, so former chef Tracey Lafayette determined to stir up a booklet of homespun philosophy and serve it cold turkey. No fancy sauce.
That’s her no-nonsense approach to life as conveyed in From Within the Hidden Places, a smorgasbord of thoughts, sayings, Bible verses and stories designed to make readers think deeply and act wisely. Inspired by her former life as a chef–and her present life as a Christian–the sampling is Lafayette’s take on godly wisdom for people who need a strong dose of it.
For young people, for example, Lafayette advises steering clear of friends who overpower with negative pressure. Otherwise, she notes, the result is a bad mix, as unappetizing as “carrots, parsnips and beetroots” when cooked in one pot. The same happens, says this former chef, when people of any age yield to peer pressure. In the way that those messy beetroots change the color of carrots and parsnips when cooked together, negative friends “may end up changing you and your character in ways that could leave you unrecognisable [sic}.”
There’s something appealing about such simple wisdom, especially when seasoned with views of a onetime chef. Unfortunately, Lafayette’s final stew is more a buffet line than a finely composed meal. Its disconnected array of this and that, with jumps from topic to topic–faith, value brands, internal strength and snowflakes, for example–offers a disjointed selection with no clear focus. Poor grammar in places leaves its own aftertaste.
Starting over with a good editor’s understanding of how this material could be organized and developed, Lafayette might give this recipe another try. Cooked up right, plus spiced with her spiritual passions, it could be something readers would devour.