Thirty-eight-year-old Xeni is secretly praying for a virgin birth. But when she unexpectedly falls for a free-spirited new mom during sumptuous Greek cooking lessons, she must reconcile her religious beliefs with her emerging sexuality – and discover that love is ultimately the highest power.
Complete at 95,000 words, THE FEASTING VIRGIN is a humorous and subversive upmarket culinary novel with elements of magical realism, and told through alternating points of view. Its literary ancestors are legacy best-selling titles such as Like Water for Chocolate, Orange is Not the Only Fruit, and Middlesex. More recent comparative titles include Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots and God in Pink.
Xeni is a first-generation Greek American, raised in the Greek Orthodox faith, and trained in all the essential skills of a traditional Greek housewife. She knows the right ingredients to make any Greek dish delectable, but the one recipe she yearns for but can’t perfect is how to make a baby—by virgin birth. Her secret wish seems impossible, but miracles happen every day, and Xeni can’t stand the idea of becoming a good Greek wife. Meanwhile, ex-hippie Callie, who ended up with a relationship and a baby she conceived during a boozy one-night stand, is trying to bridge a cultural divide with Gus, her Greek American lover, by learning to cook just like his mother. When Xeni spots Callie in the supermarket selecting limp spinach and tofu to make spanakopita, she steps in to help her pick vigorous greens and creamy feta with just the right salty tang for spectacular results. Food can create miracles, and they both need one.
With undeniable chemistry from their first cooking lesson, Xeni and Callie sublimate their attraction for each other into creating mouthwatering meals in the kitchen. But their good intentions are blown aside when Gus’s mother arrives from Greece and decides that Xeni, not Callie, would make a good Greek wife for Gus. When Xeni is forced to confront her belief in miracles, Callie sets out to make sure Xeni’s wish for a virgin birth comes true.