Wednesday 21 February 2018

Review: The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is … don't make any afternoon plans.
Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it's said in the wrong way. 
Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.
Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

Review: Even just the synopsis of this book made me laugh and made me very very intrigued as to what was going to down inside the pages of this novel, so you can imagine that that reaction was increased a hundred fold once I began reading. I was drawn into this book and this family right from the word go and I didn't want the adventure to end-ever!

Anna is a fabulous main character to steer this ship and she really is the main sail of her family too. We get to know so much about her family as the book progresses, I feel like I am part of their family too. They seem to welcome everyone into the fold, not always with open arms, and so you as a reader are definitely welcomed in as well. We all have a little bit of Anna in us, she is so fiercely independent, partly through choice and partly through necessity, but that doesn't always mean that she is safe from hurt and safe from generally bad things happening to her. The way she grows and changes over the course of this book was pretty spectacular and was heart warming to the very end. 

Each Sunday lunch club is an event in itself where secrets are unearthed, revelations are made and bonds are broken and mended. Each of these lunches could be a soap opera in their own right. At the heart of these gatherings though, is that family value that runs all the way through this book. No matter who is there, where they are, what is eaten, someone always leaves feeling a little better about themselves and problems are dealt with as a group, despite what each member of the family might reveal to the others over the course of the lunch. 

There were some really funny moments in this book, Anna's 'situation' provides some humour amongst her family and it is impossible not to laugh at other people's reactions when they experience their first Sunday lunch as a friend or a lover as one of the family members in attendance. There are also some lovely moments of family rallying round each other as the book goes on, this was really great to see because four bother's and sisters and a hell of a lot of secrets doesn't always mean that will be the case. And there were of course moments that had me in tears because it would't be a Juliet Ashton Novel without emotions that are poles apart. I cried with sadness and joy though and because I really did feel like part of the family. 

This was a truly wonderful read. I barely felt able to put it down and I ended up finishing it during my own Sunday lunch time, not something I planned to do. The story is gripping, the characters endearing and I am sure that you, too, won't want it to end!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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