Book Review: THE SUNDAY LUNCH CLUB by Juliet Ashton

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This is one of these great and captivating books that you can’t stop reading and, once you do, you keep thinking about it. A character-driven novel with a gripping and immersive plot, THE SUNDAY LUNCH CLUB features four siblings and their extended family. There is Anna who is pregnant and in love with a man who is not the father of her baby. Also, the arrival of a few threatening letters risks to bring to light a secret from her past. There is Neil who still can’t feel fatherhood after adopting baby Paloma with her much younger husband Santiago. Then there is Maeve. She has a new boyfriend who everyone seems to like but her thirteen-year-old son Storm. Josh is the shy younger brother everyone in the family worries about, but he seems happier since there is a new woman in his life, although nobody has ever met her, yet. At the head of the family there is their grandmother Dinkie, the one in the family everyone looks up to, but she doesn’t look  happy in her new nursing home, and there is something going on between her and her nurse Sheba.

Every few Sundays they meet for lunch together in each home and each chapter opens with that Sunday menu (as an Italian-born, my favorite was Luca’s and his tortellini in brodo!). Everyone is welcome at their Sunday Lunch Club, friends, boyfriends, even ex-husbands and their new girlfriends.

I couldn’t stop reading about these characters and their exciting stories. I wanted to be part of their family and go to their Sunday lunches. They have their flaws and each has a distinctive personality. The members of the family are very close to each other, they accept everyone, and they don’t hold back criticism – “families don’t sugar-coat the truth”. I liked how they tell each other (almost) anything. No lunch is uneventful as secrets are spilled each Sunday.

THE SUNDAY LUNCH CLUB is funny, but also a bit emotional, and, with a few dramatic scenes and shocking surprises, there is never a dull moment. I really didn’t want it to end, but neither I couldn’t put it down and I read it in two days.

Thank you Sara-Jade Virtue, Books and the City, and Simon & Schuster UK for providing an early copy of the book.

THE SUNDAY LUNCH CLUB is out in the UK on April 19th.

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