Review of Together at the Table by Hillary Manton Lodge: Christian Fiction

Leah Courtney
I'll be the first to admit that I'm no foodie. If I can cook a simple five ingredient meal, I feel as if I'm doing well. But that doesn't mean I don't like to read about food and fancy recipes.

Together at the Table combines sweet romance, family secrets, beautiful settings, and lots and lots of good food.

Christian fiction review

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The book is the culminating book in a series. I haven't read the previous two books, and I did have a little trouble following some of the storyline. But there was enough information to help me pick up the gist of the plot, and I was still able to thoroughly enjoy this one.

From the book's description:

Three months ago, Juliette D’Alisa’s world changed.

In a bittersweet series of events, her mother’s health took a turn for the worse. Juliette and her brother opened their restaurant together to rave reviews, but her romance with Memphis immunologist Neil McLaren ended in anger and tears.

As autumn sweeps into the Pacific Northwest, Juliette feels that she’s finally on the cusp of equilibrium. The restaurant continues to thrive, and her family is closer than ever. She and sous-chef Adrien are seeing each other, both in and out of the kitchen. Just when she thinks her world might stop spinning, a trip to the waterfront lands a familiar face into her path.

Rather than dwell on her personal life, Juliette throws herself into work and research. After reading her grandmother’s letters from war-torn Paris, she still wants to know the full story – and she’ll travel across countries and oceans to find it.

But even Juliette can’t outrun the man who stole her heart. As she finally uncovers the truth about her family history, what will it mean for her own chances at lasting love?

I totally enjoyed Together at the Table. The characters are very well developed, and the story is complex with multiple story threads going on at once. The characters are "real" with lives that don't always turn out as planned but are sometimes messy and difficult.

I loved the settings in the book. From a restaurant in Portland, Oregon to a family chateau in France, the settings are very well-described. This made me feel as if I really could experience the characters and the events fully.

And then there was the food. Juliette comes from generations of creating good food. Woven into the story are descriptions of food, and scattered throughout are recipes for some of things Juliette and her family create. The recipes made me wish I were a good cook and didn't eat gluten free.

I can definitely recommend Together at the Table. I give it five stars. You can find it on Amazon here and read a sample from the Kindle book below.

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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