While reviewers have pointed out that the book does provide a basis for theological and philosophical reflection, what draws foodies to “Search” is the same prose that garnered the accolades for Huneven during her time at The LA Times. The New York Times points out that the writing she harnesses to describe meals and church potlucks is “the most vivid prose in the book,” raising the example of the author’s description of pan-fried dumplings. Huneven even builds food into the narrative to introduce food into the picture. So, the narrator takes fellow committee members to review lunches, where she gets to speak to them candidly about their thoughts regarding the review process.
Critics note that bits and pieces of Huneven’s life are sprinkled throughout the book. But perhaps it speaks most strongly to the book’s DNA as the product of a James Beard-awarded food writer when Booklist, per the author’s website, gives foodies a heads up about its food descriptions, detailed restaurant visits, and “signature recipes” from fictional church group members which are woven into the narrative and appear in the end.