I didn't care for the start. A lot of time was spent on how difficult it is to be a modern day cook: how tortured and unappreciated they all are. By the end, I got the point. There's not a wealth of information on Mary; it probably could have been surmised in a chapter or two. There are many flights of fancy and emotional flourishes, but by the end I'm convinced that the author sought to do Mary justice. It's a respectable work. I might not gift it, but I'll likely read it again.