A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge

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What it’s about:

From the publisher: “The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn—does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?

After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.

Inspired by her grandmother’s evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother’s story can help show the way?”

My thoughts:
I identified with the main character at times in this book, but little else. The family seemed like snobs to me. A disclaimer here though is that I am a rural, northwoods woman who would much rather go ice fishing than eat in a fancy restaurant. I found the storyline didn’t really pick up for me until about 20% in to the book. I loved the idea of a food lovers book…. I am into organic food, gluten-free food, fermentation, raw food, sprouting food and wine, but not really the atmosphere and stuff that this was more about. I felt it ended abruptly. I also really struggled with Juliette’s romantic feelings after such a short time. It felt to me like it went from 0-110% in the blink of an eye and I was left a little disjointed over that. While this was not one of my favorite books, I know many who have enjoyed it and it was was well-written. I would recommend it to people who do enjoy classy food preparation and restaurant atmospheres.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to food-lovers and city women.

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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