Forks, Knives and Spoons

by Allison Sharp

Almost two decades after “Sex and the City” premiered, stories about the romance of female friendships are still compelling. Shows such as “Girls” and “Pretty Little Liars” use the twists, turns and triumphs of lasting friendships as the backdrop to their drama. In her debut novel, FORKS, KNIVES, AND SPOONS, Leah DeCesare adds her insight to this trend of coming-of-age stories.

DeCesare’s previous accomplishments are in a very different genre: parenting. Her two Naked Parenting books and other online writings on the subject range from advice for new parents to advice for parents of young adults. All of this knowledge comes into play in her novel. She answers the questions of how to weather the storms of growing up with an experienced, encouraging and enlightened tone.

FORKS, KNIVES, AND SPOONS opens with the two protagonists beginning their freshman year of college in 1988. Amy and Veronica are set to be roommates and quickly become inseparable friends. Amy explains her father’s classification system for men, which becomes the defining metaphor of the book. “There are three types of guys: forks, knives, and spoons…. The forks…are the guys that won’t care about you. They will make you think they care, but they won’t have any problem playing the field…. The ideal guy is a knife…they have an edge and can be sharp when they need to be…. Then you have the spoons. Simply put, these are the nerds, the geeks. They don’t poke, they don’t have edge, they’re maybe even bland.” The Utensil Classification System is used on each boyfriend and male friend the girls encounter in the novel with the aim of fulfilling Amy’s father’s wish of “bringing home a good knife.” Read more…