Wednesday, January 31, 2018


For readers who love Adriana Trigiani, Jennifer Weiner and Liane Moriarty, Forks, Knives, and Spoons is a light-hearted, thought-provoking coming of age story that takes readers on a nostalgic journey back to the 1980s and 1990s. Romantic, witty and warm.

There are three kinds of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That is the final lesson that Amy York’s father sends her off to college with, never suspecting just how far his daughter will take it. Clinging to the Utensil Classification System as her guide, Amy tries to convince her skeptical roommate, Veronica Warren, of its usefulness as they navigate the heartbreaks and soul mates of college and beyond.

Beginning in 1988, their freshman year at Syracuse University, Amy and Veronica meet an assortment of guys―from slotted spoons and shrimp forks to butter knives and sporks―all while trying to learn if the UCS holds true. On the quest to find their perfect steak knives, they learn to believe in themselves―and not to settle in love or life.

2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for New Adult Fiction
2017 New York City Big Book Award Winner Women’s Fiction
2017 IAN Book of the Year Award for Outstanding Women’s Fiction
2017 USA Best Book Awards Finalist in New Fiction

"The novel's construct of categorizing men's qualities according to a Utensil Classification System when looking for a romantic partner is memorable, wittily practical, and has the power to influence readers' real-life choices. For that, Forks, Knives, and Spoons breaks new ground."
―The BookLife Prize

"Reading Forks, Knives, and Spoons is like having your best girlfriend take you by the hand and tell you a story. A story you want to sit and listen to until the very end."
―Ann Hood, New York Times bestselling author of The Book That Matters Most

"Leah DeCesare has a writer's voice that is remarkable for a debut novel. The characters in Forks, Knives, and Spoons are so relatable, and the story makes you long for your own youth. A wonderful book about love and growth, discovering who you are, and what makes you happy."
―Anita Hughes, author of Christmas in Paris

"What a warm, wonderful read! I fell in love with Leah DeCesare's wit and her relatable, human characters, who brought me back to that tender and occasionally heartbreaking time at the very cusp of adulthood.”
―Cristina Alger, author of This Was Not The Plan

Some Q & A with Leah ~ 

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I love family dinners and FaceTiming with our college girl, Mastermind challenges and movie nights snuggled in with my steak knife (my husband) and my kiddos.  I love to read and have wonderful towering stacks of books, full bookshelves, a bursting Kindle and countless audiobooks downloaded and waiting for me to devour. I also love to travel, which will be on hold for the next many years while our money pours into kid’s tuition. I play tennis a few times a week and almost daily in the summer and I’ve practiced yoga since I was in college (way back in the same year’s that Amy and Veronica were in school, 1988-1992). Making time for breakfasts or lunches out with friends is another favorite. Which leads me to your next question …

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

No. I worked in NYC in buying and PR for Lord & Taylor after college and in my early married years but I chose to stay home with my kids and loved that I could be a full-time mama.

While the kids were little, I became a doula and birth educator and cherished the years teaching and supporting families as they welcomed their new babies. About four years ago, I stopped taking clients and only accepted repeats. This week, I attended what is likely to be my last birth as a doula. Being a doula is such an intimate and special job and I’ve tapped into that world in my next book. 

At a writers’ conference last spring, I heard an author talking about being a bookseller and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. I finally reached out to my local indie bookstore and got thrown happily into the deep end during the Christmas season. I’ve loved it and am so glad I get to stay on here and there because it is so much fun to be around books all day and to recommend books and to go on “scavenger hunts” trying to find a book that is just right for a customer.  

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

The initial inspiration for Forks, Knives, and Spoons came from my father. I’ve carried the central idea of this book with me since 1988 when my dad sent me off to college with the advice that my character, Amy York’s, dad sends her off to Syracuse University with: There are three types of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That tidbit was true and when I shared this system with my college friends it took off, with everyone adding descriptions for new utensils and talking as if it were an understood concept, for example, “I met this complete fork last night.”

That idea sat with me for decades, but there was no story around it, so when I finally sat to write this book, I had to build the characters and their arcs and let the Utensil Classification System (the UCS) become a backdrop and an organizing idea serving the characters and their growth. In the end, I had a story about friendship and learning to believe in oneself. 
 Amy is from Newtown, CT, my hometown, I figure characters need to be from somewhere, it may as well be from somewhere I know and love. 

I also used the years I was in college, 1988-1992 and Syracuse University where I went to school, as the time period and setting for the book.  It was a conscious choice to set Forks, Knives, and Spoons in the late eighties into the early nineties for a few reasons. First, it’s a period I know and could realistically convey the college culture at that time, but I also wanted to show some timeless truths about growing up, coming of age, and seeking love despite cell phones and technologies. If it were set in present day, some of the incidents could have unfolded differently - or not at all. Certainly, today, handwritten letters and phone calls on the hall payphone are extinct, and finding someone in a crowd outside at a fire drill or at a party is easy by comparison.

I mistakenly thought it would be “easy” to write a period I had lived, but it took a lot more research than I expected. I had to be sure not to have anything out of chronological order, for example, my editor found that a Sega video game I mentioned in the book was in the right year, but my characters were playing it in April when it didn’t actually come out until September that year. I changed it! But I found it really fun, myself, to revisit old fashions and music, and to return to a time pre-Internet and pre-Always-Accessible. 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you. From my very core, I want to say, thank you. It is humbling, thrilling and purely amazing to hear that people (who aren’t related to me) have read and enjoyed my book. I am so grateful to be able to do this. I’d also like to mention that reviews seriously make a difference to authors, so please, take a moment to review books you love - we really appreciate those stars on Amazon and Goodreads. 

To connect with Leah ~ 

Pinterest - (I have a Forks, Knives, and Spoons board)
Amazon Author Page-

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