Monday, 26 November 2012

The Secret Supper Club, by Dana Bate

Title: The Secret Supper Club
Author: Dana Bate
Format: Paperback
Source: Sent by Publisher
Length: 480 pages
Genre: Chicklit/ Foodporn
Add this: Goodreads
Buy this: Paperback |Ebook
Available from: 6th December 2012

Chick Lit isn't my favourite genre, by far, but I have a poorly hidden love of cookery programs, so when I read the blurb for this book, I instantly added it to my very long please-send-me-books-list that I sent to the lovely Emily at Constable and Robinson. And when it came through the post just a few days later, I squealed at the postman... and may have jumped up and down... just a tiny bit... and phoned my mum... erm... yeah, I was excited, ok?

Erm.. anyway... plot... Hannah Sugarman has what should be the whole package; she lives with her politically ambitious boyfriend in a swanky flat, she has a job at an influential think tank, and her future career in academia is almost guaranteed thanks to her parents' influence. But, all that Hannah really wants is to run a culinary empire; an idea that it seems no one supports, not even her boyfriend. So when her relationship ends after a spectacular fight, and Hannah finds herself without a boyfriend, flat or swanky furniture, she decides to hold a slightly illegal Supper Club to make some quick money. Add in a few romantic interests, as well as Hannah trying to keep the Supper Club secret from her new landlord, all on top of her dull day job, and Hannah's life has just got a lot more chaotic.

I really loved this book; it totally surpassed my expectations for it. Hannah is a really well-rounded character; she could be someone you might actually be friends with in real life, and its really easy to identify with her as well. Its also nice that she does learn and grow etc throughout the book, but not in a clich├ęd or unbelievable way. Its often a bit awkward if the writer doesn't get the swearing quite right, but Dana makes Hannah swear like a pro. One of my favourite moments (amongst many) is in the break-up scene between Hannah and Adam. He has just described her as more like a bomb than a firecracker... (which is a foolish move)

' "You want a bomb? I'll give you a bomb." I grab his water glass from across the counter and throw the water in his face. "Boom, motherfucker!" '

The descriptions of the food Hannah cooks are just amazing. It is a major book of food porn, and even better, has some of the recipes at the back of the book as well. Reading it totally brought out my inner food snob, and may have resulted in a trip to Wagamamas, just to eat something that wasn't pasta based.

Overall, a really fun read, with some really lovable characters, (and some equally moronic ones). Seeing various relationships develop was really nice, and I loved how getting on with your parents being a difficult thing was expressed. I really liked that the romance part of the book wasn't the main focus, but was tied up in the plot enough to consider it as part of the plot. There were a few brief parts that were a bit slow, but they didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of a really nice book. 

8.5 stars.
The Secret Supper Club is out on the 6th of December. You can pre-order it from amazon, using the links at the top of the page. 

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