God is in the Pancakes: a novel by Robin Epstein community news and reviews about the author about the book

Chapter One

Here’s what I’ve come to realize about perfect happiness: It’s as fragile as the bubbles that form on the top of a pancake. I know a fair amount about the subject of pancakes because I used to eat them all the time–not just for breakfast. When my dad was in charge of meals, pancakes could and would be served for breakfast, lunch, snack, and “special pancake dinner” too. Whether we stayed at home and made them ourselves, went out for brunch at the local flapjack shack, or dined at that more famous “international” house of pancakes, I can say with confidence that I was quite the student of the pancake-making process.

But back to the bubbles.

When you make pancakes, you mix together all the ingredients and ladle the batter onto the hot griddle or in the frying pan. Then, the next thing you’re supposed to do is to look for the bubbles to appear, because when the time is right, they’ll float to the top and sides of the pancake. The reason these bubbles are important is because when you see them, that’s how you know you’re close; the time is near. It’s also your cue to give those pancakes a flip, because if you don’t they burn, and your cakes are toast. So those tiny bubbles signal everything’s about to get turned on its head.

That’s why the perfect pancake bubble can only exist for a small moment in time. After it serves its purpose, making your mouth water in anticipation of what’s to come and letting you know it’s time for its world to turn upside down, it pops and fades away. What comes next—how the thing actually turns out—depends on your variables: what you’ve added to the mix, how much you’ve stirred the pot, your ability to blend, its general shape, fat content, toppings, timing, and luck.

The comparison to high school is not lost on me, either.

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