Forks, Knives and Spoons, by Leah DeCesare is a great book for girls going off to college, and possibly enjoyable for young women in their 20s too. A mother-daughter book club would enjoy discussing about this book, especially if the mom attended college in the 80’s, the time that the novel was set. The details of clothing styles, technology, movies and music are just as I remember. The variety of students, the diverse home lives and parents described at Syracuse are similar to what I remember at my tiny southern college. It touches on personal safety and Greek Life. This book gives valid images of what college life was like before cellphones, texting and email (yes, my college had three phone booths on each hall too) without sounding like a tale of walking ten miles to school each day…in the snow!
The curious title might make one believe this is a cookbook, yet it comes from dating advice given from the main character, Amy’s, father, who says there are three kinds of guys: forks, knives and spoons. I don’t want to tell you the whole story, inspired by the author’s dad, but beware of forks, the wolves in prince’s clothing, if I want to mix up fables a bit. It was very different advice from the usual “Study hard and don’t get into any trouble!” advice given to many college students, and the love of this dad was so obvious. The story is enjoyed by all the girls on Amy’s hall, as they added terminology such as “shrimp fork” or “serving fork” and “steak knife.”
Without spoiling the ending, college is about change and growing up, and sometimes changing your attitudes about things. I hope you enjoy this enjoyable but thoughtful look back at 80’s college life.