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?I like food; I like romance novels ... what's not to like about A Table by the Window, written by Hillary Manton Lodge? I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.
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?
The publisher blurb above gives an excellent preview of A Table by the Window. I would add that, throughout the book, Juliette struggles to define what she really wants. I would also add that the book includes a lot of family drama--conflicts of personality, perceived obligations, feelings of guilt--all within a family with deep love. These dynamics were believable.
Some of the chapters end with recipes, which are written in a casual tone--as you might share a recipe with a friend or family member.
I thoroughly enjoyed A Table by the Window. Juliette was easy to relate to, and all of the characters were multi-dimensional. Their interactions are realistic. As Juliet worked through a series of decisions, each of which impacts the next, I was pulling for her to make the right choices. The ending was not predictable, which is always a plus.
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Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.