At the turn of the last century, two sisters are following very different paths. Twenty-eight-year-old Emily is a CEO of an internet start-up; twenty-three-year-old Jess is a grad student in philosophy, a vegan who rejects the rampant capitalism that surrounds her. Pragmatic Emily is making a fortune in Silicon Valley while capricious Jess works in an antiquarian bookstore. Emily’s boyfriend is fantastically successful; Jess’s boyfriend is an environmental activist. But as the burst of the Dotcom bubble looms and the falling towers of the World Trade Center cast a dark shadow over America, both sisters are torn between two loves, two lives. The Cookbook Collector serves up a lively stew of characters: bold young software titans, Berkeley tree-huggers, bibliophiles and a pair of investment savvy rabbis. In an increasingly virtual world, in an era of electronic organizers and onscreen identities, Allegra Goodman reminds us that the one thing that keeps us human is love.
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