Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: A Table By the Window

A Table by the Window: A Novel of Family Secrets and Heirloom RecipesA Table by the Window: A Novel of Family Secrets and Heirloom Recipes by Hillary Manton Lodge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book about Juliette, the youngest in a boistrous French Italian family of restauranteurs. It follows her desperate attempt to end her loneliness by attempting online dating, her struggles with her career as a food writer that she loves/hates, her love of food and cooking and her intense family.  It is a story about new love, the dynamics of family and of course food. Throughout the book, Juliette attempts to discover why her late grandmother had a photo of a young man (who is not her grandfather) hidden away in the inside of a dust jacket on a well used cookbook, and why this young man looks just like one of her brothers. I enjoyed Juliette's family quite a bit, and think books on her siblings could be interesting as well. However, they will have to wait, as I realized, as the book ended quite quickly that this is almost definitely the first in a series on Juliette's story. The authors answers just barely enough of the stories raised in this book that it is almost satisfying on its own. Juliette finds some answers about her grandmothers story, amd reverses a hasty decision about her own, but there is so much left to tell in those two storylines as well as in the storylines begun about her family. I was switching devices  as I was beginning (what I was surprised to find out was) the last chapter! I really thought I had at least a quarter to the book to go. That is really my only criticism of the book, that it really seems like a large book split in two that is just not quite satisfying enough to stand on its own. I love book series, but much prefer when the individual books can be read on their own. This is a Christian novel, though it really is not overwheming or attempt to be spiritually inspirational or evangelistic as some Christian novels are. the characters' faith shows through at different points as the offer to pray for each other or  pray in the midst of turmoil to find peace, etc. While I think Christian readers of fiction or romance will enjoy this, I think it could be enjoyed by non-Christians who enjoy clean novels as well.  

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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