And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Gather over the Table

Two years ago I took a book to the beach, and then reviewed it for you. Last year in May I read and reviewed the sequel to that book. This year I took the third book in the series on a trip to the mountains with me. Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge was a terrific easy read for the long ride. I'm glad the family doesn't mind me reading for work on vacation!

Sometimes you can pick up anywhere in a series. As I started reading this book, I found myself striving to remember the first two books. I think you should start with A Table by the Window and then read Reservations for Two before beginning this third book. It would lead to greater enjoyment over the story line and characters.

Juliette is managing her brother Nico's restaurant and casually dating sous chef Adrian. She is enjoying her apartment over the restaurant with her roommate Clementine, and she's almost over her breakup with Neil. The pain from her mother's death is still fresh, but she's finding comfort in her routines. Several things happen at one time to jolt Juliette's world. She runs into Neil in Portland even though he lives in Memphis. Then her great aunt passes away before she can go and visit Italy again. Adrian makes a huge production out of her birthday and tries to make the relationship too serious too fast. How will Juliette cope with all these emotional upheavals?

This book, like others in the series, combines themes of food and family and relationships. Recipes are included in this book as in the previous two. Juliette's whole family is involved in cooking in one way or another and their family often gathers over food. Juliette must navigate through difficult circumstances to find the path for her and to finish uncovering the family secrets her grandmother left behind. Together at the Table feels like a peaceful conclusion. Although a few threads are left dangling that could be followed, many of the main storylines are completed in this book. I enjoyed this one every bit as much as I enjoyed the first two! It is a great easy reading trilogy.

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