Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).
This week’s featured book is Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo.
‘Miss Amelia Hayes, welcome to The Land of Dreams. I am the staff trainer. I will call you grasshopper and you will call me sensei and I will give you the good oil. Right? And just so you know, I’m open to all kinds of bribery.’
From the moment 15-year-old Amelia begins work on the checkout at Woolworths she is sunk, gone, lost…head-over-heels in love with Chris. Chris is the funny, charming, man-about-Woolies, but he’s 21, and the 6-year difference in their ages may as well be 100. Chris and Amelia talk about everything from Second Wave Feminism to Great Expectations and Alien but will he ever look at her in the way she wants him to? And if he does, will it be everything she hopes?
Love and Other Perishable Items is a beautifully honest story about what it means to be in love and what it means to grow up. Every time I read this, I see so much of myself in Amelia — after all, she doesn’t know how to tell guys that she likes them and she “even takes the goings-on of fictitious characters personally.” It brings back so many memories of awkward first love, while making you wiser about gender roles, feminism, and other social issues. If I ever have a daughter, she’ll definitely have to read this during her teenage years.