What would you say the book Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant has to do with health?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a strong statement being made on the nature of emotional health.  Tyler's work makes it clear that emotional health is not something that can simply be "made," like a dish.  Part of what makes Ezra's restaurant so fascinating is that the purpose of the restaurant is to make dishes that enable individuals to find some part of their past that is gone.  The food being made is a hopeful stab at emotional happiness.  The work suggests that health, from an emotional point of view, is a challenging element that can only be understood through the lens of change, transformation, and reflection.  Jenny understands herself and finds some level of happiness in her emotional health when she is able to recognizes her own life in connection with its past.  Ezra has adopted the idea of "let it be" as his own hopeful attempt to establish a foundation of emotional health that will enable him to make sense of being.  Cody struggles throughout the narrative in finding this place of emotional health.  Interestingly enough, Pearl struggles with this, as well.  The idea of emotional health is shown to be something in the work that takes time and understanding to grasp.  It is not something quick, something that can be easily prepared with the exact amount of ingredients and know- how.  Rather, like Pearl's eyes at the end of her life that struggle to find something that might not be there, emotional health is shown to be a quantity that is not exact, and something intricate and challenging in fully understanding and accepting.