Monday, 21 May 2012

Books Read: Amy Bratley - The Saturday Supper Club

Source - Received from publisher to review

Four amateur cooks to compete in a supper-club contest

Four strangers, four weeks, four houses, four dinner parties.

You might win: a cash prize.  You might lose: your heart.

Eve had her world torn apart three years ago when the love of her life, Ethan, disappeared and she never found out why.  But now her life is rosy.  With lovely new boyfriend, Joe, and a cafe-opening on the cards, things finally seem to be falling into place... until she agrees to take part in a supper-club competition for a local newspaper.  Eve is cooking the first dinner and who should turn up on her doorstep expecting a three-course meal, but her long lost love?  

I still haven't read Amy Bratley's debut novel, The Girl's Guide to Homemaking, which has had some amazing reviews but I had been looking forward to reading this book as from the back cover blurb it had a Come Dine With Me feel about it which is one of my TV guilty pleasures.

When Eve's boyfriend Joe rings her up to ask her to fill in as a contestant in a Saturday Supper Club contest that the newspaper he's working for is running, she reluctantly agrees even though she's to be the first host and only has a day to get her menu sorted!

Eve gets the shock of her life when she opens the door to her first guest Ethan, her ex-boyfriend who left with no explanation three years ago.  She doesn't have much time to deal with her emotions before the rest of her guests arrives, Maggie, Andrew and photographer Paul. Instead she heads to the kitchen to try and compose herself and a few glasses of wine certainly help but doesn't help with her cooking!  

At the end of the evening she still hasn't managed to speak to Ethan alone so she's as confused as ever but his appearance has re-opened old wounds that she thought had healed.  When she tells her friends and family that Ethan showed up at the supper club, they advise her to tell Joe that Ethan was one of the contestants and not to go to the remaining three dinner parties.

However, Eve's emotions get the better of her and she wants to find out from Ethan what had happened to make him leave so suddenly. Throughout the remaining three dinner parties, we get to learn a little bit about the lives of the other three participants and we also get to see flashbacks that help to explain a little more about the events that led up to Ethan's disappearance. 

The book was written with plenty of comedic moments throughout including Eve's disastrous fish stew with its missing ingredients, Maggie's attempts to get them belly dancing after a few drinks and Andrew's disastrous dinner party in his front garden! 

So how does it all turn out for Eve and co, I'm not going to spoil it for you so you'll have to read the book for yourself.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, even if the ending was pretty predictable from quite early on, and got through it no time at all so would have no hesitation in recommending to others.

I'd like to thank Pan Macmillan for sending me a copy of this book to review. 

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