A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Date March 2014
Juliette D’Alisa has spent her life around food and family. As the youngest of a family of restauranteurs and professional chefs, she knows food. She also understands the dynamics of having a very boisterous and involved family. French and Italian roots run deeply through her blood and everyone knows everything about everyone else’s life. So when Juliette finds a mysterious photo of her grandmother and a handsome young man, she’s intrigued. The man looks exactly like her older brother, but he’s a stranger. So who is this handsome man with her grandmother?
On top of that, her brother Nico has decided that he wants to open a restaurant, but the last time he had one, Juliette got personally involved and it led to disaster. When Nico asks her to be his partner, she’s just not sure of what she should do.
And when Juliette, the only unmarried person in her family, begins to think about dating, it nearly sends her off the rails to imagine juggling all of it.
With humor, grace, style and lots of fabulous food, Hillary Manton Lodge has set the stage for a journey of epic and delicious proportions. Juliette is forced to work through career changes, dating woes and family drama, but she does it with just the right amount of humor, passion, and of course the kind of mistakes we all end up making. This creates a relatable and enjoyable character that we can not only cheer for, but that makes us feel like we could easily befriend and hang out with.
I have always been a foodie and I love recipes and cookbooks. One glance into my kitchen will let you know that. I’m not even close to a professional or a hobbyist. I just love trying new recipes and cooking for my family. So when I started reading this book, imagine my delight that Lodge included recipes for some of the delicious dishes she talked about in the story. I love that you read about Juliette making some fabulous dessert and when you turn the page, that very recipe is available for you. That added a new level of enjoyment to this book.
This was the first offering I’ve read from Hillary Manton Lodge, though I’ve heard tons about her and her work. I was delighted to say that I found a new favorite author. (And she’s a Doctor Who fan – I had to include that for my geeky friends!) I read this with a high level of enjoyment and I’m happy to say that each page kept me involved in the story in unpredictable new ways. I can’t wait to read more of Lodge’s work and I look forward to seeing the rest of the Two Blue Doors series!