Friday 18 May 2018

BLOG TOUR: A Family Recipe - Veronica Henry

I adore Veronica Henry books; they are filled with family drama but ultimately envelop the reader in such a huge hug that I always find a smile on my face at the end.  I was thrilled to get a spot on the blog tour for A Family Recipe and I am delighted to share an extract along with my review to bring the tour to a close.  Do make sure you visit the other blogs on this delicious tour.

Click here to read an extract from Chapter 2 where Laura is preparing to send her youngest daughter, Willow, off to university in York.  Then come back and read my review below.

What's the secret ingredient to your happiness?

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent - a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga - seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom.

But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother's recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura's jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles . . . Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose.

Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return . . .

What did I think?

I think this is the best Veronica Henry book I have read to date.  With a dual timeline of 2017 and 1942, it's like two books in one and as I discovered the history behind 11 Lark Hill, my heart was warmed by the heat from the Aga, sitting in pride of place in the busy kitchen.

Laura has always been overprotective of her youngest daughter as Willow suffers from chronic asthma.  The thought of Willow going off to university in York is absolutely terrifying for Laura as she won't be able to keep such a close eye on her anymore.  When Laura and her husband, Dom, are driving back from dropping Willow off in York, Laura discovers a secret that Dom has been keeping from her.  Not only is her marriage under threat but also the home that has been in her family for generations.

Number 11 Lark Hill was a very different place in 1942 as the bombs fell on Bath and everyone had to keep up a stiff upper lip.  Jilly fell in love the night the bombs fell but, with Harry off to fly in the airforce and suddenly finding herself alone in her home, the future isn't quite what she dreamed of as she takes in a family whose home was destroyed in the blitz.  With the help of her exuberant friend, Ivy, Jilly is the perfect embodiment of wartime spirit, especially when the household is set to get a new addition.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved A Family Recipe.  The female characters are so strong that you can't help but admire them and the whole family unit brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.  The friendship between Jilly and Ivy is so heartwarming as they have been inseparable for decades.  Despite it being 2017, I felt Laura showed her wartime spirit as she kept calm and carried on.  Family is so important to both main characters as we discover the tears and laughter both in their past and present.

Filled with family drama across several decades, A Family Recipe is so deliciously moreish that I could have quite easily devoured it in one day, but instead I savoured every single exquisite page that I read.  A Family Recipe is a mouth-watering feast for the eyes and there's even a yummy recipe for apple and date chutney that I just have to try for myself.  A highly recommended read from the delectable pen of Veronica Henry.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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