Monday, February 19, 2018

Review: The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Heidi Reads... the Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life--and love--outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?

My Review

I was entranced by this book! There was such a vibrant sense of the setting, the food, and the emotions of the characters. I loved that the author set the location in her hometown and based the restaurants in the book on some of her favorites there. The story starts with such a great conflict, and I was invested from the get-go with how the journey of Rachel and Alex would progress. There is a great balance of backstory and how it affects the present day, and anticipation for what the future holds. I loved the details of what it takes to be successful as a chef and the family-like dynamics of the food industry. The food trucks were my favorite, they seem like such a fun and accessible way of trying new and adventurous food. Rachel's two friends Ana and Melody provide a strong support for her as she navigates new circumstances in her career and personal life, and I hope the author uses them as main characters in future stories. The themes are deep and the author explores them thoughtfully through her characters, which made it such a rich reading experience and had me thinking about the issues in between reading sessions and how they apply to myself and the world. Highly recommend!!!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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