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Heirloom recipes, family secrets…and a chance for love
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?
Many readers will relate to the pressures Juliette faces – a boss to satisfy, a family balance to maintain, a love life to find and lead. Keeping everyone around you happy is a full-time job on its own. As the baby of the family, Juliette finds herself striving to meet a whole host of expectations.
There were a few places I found myself waiting for something to happen. I’m glad I kept reading, because the action did seem to pick up as the story progressed. I also would have liked Neil to have been a bit deeper. While he seemed like a great guy, I didn’t feel as connected to him as I would have hoped. However, I could definitely relate to Juliette and her struggles to keep her family and friends impressed.
Frequently the chapters ended with a recipe for a dish that was mentioned in that chapter. I think I must have gained at least ten pounds just reading through them! And while I don’t particularly enjoy cooking, I found myself tempted to head to the kitchen to try a few – although I seriously doubt my efforts would turn out like those of the great chefs in the novel.
Overall, A Table by the Window was an enjoyable, entertaining read which whet my appetite for more.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. The opinions shared here are entirely my own.