I wasn’t planning to write a review of this book, but it was so good I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share about it!
A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge
Two Blue Doors, Book 1
Waterbrook Multnomah, 2014
First of all, I got this book from the library. Because of it, my copy did have water damage and normally this would’ve made me sad. But as I got to reading, I almost felt like the damage to the book added to the story. (Is that weird? I can explain..)
Sprinkled between the chapters are recipes for several dishes the characters are making in each scene. Yummy! So, the damaged book almost felt like the readers before me had brought this book into the kitchen with them and recreated these dishes, inspired by this story and the lively characters. I felt comforted knowing that this book about faith, family, and food had been shared with other readers before me. That’s something special.
Second, I couldn’t have enjoyed this book more. I’ve been in a major reading slump, and I’ve taken a step back from reading and blogging recently. I picked this one up out of interest, with no promises or pressure to write a review or even like the book. And I was pleasantly surprised! Take away the obligation, and my love for reading came right on back! [As an aside: yes, I’ve taken a step back from blogging and only will be posting when I feel excited about or inspired by what I’m writing.]
So let’s finally get to the content, shall we?
Juliette’s family is full of personalities and arguments and loudness, and I loved every minute of it. Each character jumps off the page, and you know exactly who they are and what their relationship to Juliette is and how that plays into who she is. Ultimately, they are a family filled with love. Their Sunday dinner gatherings were my favorite.
The food they create is an integral part of the story. I loved that because food has a way of binding us together. Around the table is where you communicate and share your thoughts, dreams, and life experiences. When they ate together, they were creating a place to have community and relationship. That is a powerful thing.
I also really loved Nico. Caterina. Neil. And even Adrian a little bit.
And don’t forget the secrets! With a family as large as theirs, you know there’s a doozy of a secret about to spill! Guess I’ll have to wait for the next book to find out more…
Third of all, I need the second book right now! And the library doesn’t have it, so it looks like it will be added to my next Amazon purchase…