The Secret Ingredient
She’s writing her story one recipe at a time…
‘A delicious story that wraps itself around your heart’ Evie Woods, bestselling author of The Lost Bookshop
It’s been three years, two weeks and one day since Kate Shaw’s life changed forever. Three years, two weeks and one day that Kate has been angry – with herself and life.
But today is different. Different because Kate has finally taken the step she’s been avoiding…back into the kitchen. Now, what begins as a (disastrous) attempt to make pancakes becomes a culinary journey that is not only a love letter to someone so important to her, but also an unexpected means of connection to a community she never knew she had…
The Old Ducks’ Hen Do by Maddie Please is a really fun contemporary novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The characters are all in their sixties showing that life is for living. “Life is what you make it.” You are never too old to have a fresh start or to have fun.
Ten days in Mallorca for a hen do really invigorate the characters. Their villa is next door to a male group of twitchers, all over sixty. Together they have fun and characters who have been dormant for years, begin to blossom.
A chance meeting with an old sweetheart, sets a heart a flutter, as the years just peel away. Like a vintage wine, age has improved both of them.
All the characters are delightfully drawn. They know how to have fun. This light-filled atmosphere illuminates’ lives. Easy banter volleys backwards and forwards between the characters. It is also highly amusing.
War & The Old Era
Together For Christmas by Carol Rivers is a delightful historical novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The title is misleading, this is not a festive offering but a book set from August 1914 – December 1918 when characters are together for Christmas. It is a comprehensive account of life on the home front during World War I.
We follow three orphans from an orphanage run by nuns. In 1914 the two girls are fifteen and the boy is seventeen. He becomes caught up in war fever and enlists despite being too young. We ‘hear’ of his war via letters.
Of the two girls – one goes into service and has aspirations of marrying into money and becoming a lady. This dream is destined to turn sour and become a nightmare.
Sea, Sun, Surf – And Cake!
Celebrations In Bellbird Bay by Maggie Christensen is a most delightful contemporary novel. It is the eighth book in the charming Bellbird Bay series but can be read as a stand-alone. I recommend reading the previous books first in order to get to know the residents of Bellbird Bay.
I thoroughly enjoyed my return visit. I loved catching up with familiar faces and meeting new ones. Bellbird Bay is very much community minded. “We care about each other here.”
Bellbird Bay is the place where people look out for each other. There is an eclectic mix of characters and always those who are happy to match-make! People pull together, helping each other and supporting local businesses where they can.
Relocating from Sydney after a disaster, a character re-connects with her old roots. With a fifteen year old daughter in tow, she returns to the Bellbird Bay of her youth. As she re-connects life becomes much fuller, compared with the anonymity of suburban Sydney.
There are community activities for all ages. As well as events to raise money for local charities such as victims of domestic abuse.
Characters bond over sea, sun, surf – and cake! All the characters are wonderfully drawn. Most are not in their first flush of youth. The lead characters are in their forties and also an octogenarian.