Monday, April 28, 2014

A Table by the Window- Book Review

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge combines a few of my favorite things: food, non-cheesy romance, and a bit of mystery.  The book follows food writer Juliette D'Alisa as she navigates an increasingly stressful career, contemplates opening a restaurant with her brother, tries to solve a mystery surrounding her beloved late grandmother, and oh, begins a long-distance romance.  If her life was not complicated enough, she must also manage her large, incredibly nosy (and opinionated) family of restaurant owners.

I liked that Juliette is a successful and independent woman but struggles with realistic self-doubt.  She is part of a large, close-knit French-Italian family that have a lot to say about her job, her love life- just about everything.  While her family is in everyone's business and a couple of siblings really push Juliette's buttons, it is clear the family acts out of love and truly cares for each other.  Their nosiness came across as endearing rather than annoying.  I enjoyed the bit of mystery involving the possible romantic past of Juliette's grandmother, and the romance angle for Juliette developed nicely.  Three possible suitors appear throughout the book, and while none were terrible choices, I was rooting for one relationship in particular to blossom (and it did!).

I hate when you already know where the plot is going in chapter one, and this book was not one of those books. While there were no huge plot twists, it kept me guessing and changing my mind throughout the romance and mystery story lines.  Food does play a role in the book as Juliette's family has always revolved around running restaurants and sharing great meals.  Luckily, the author previously interned at Northwest Palate magazine and, knowing a thing or two about delicious meals, includes multiple recipes throughout the book.  I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a somewhat light read with romance and a bit of mystery.  And food.      

A copy of this book was provided to me for free by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.   

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