Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Dish by Stella Newman

I’m all about the foodie books at the moment and after a sweet experience last month, I was after something a little more sharp and savoury, which I totally got with this great read. 

Reeling from the betrayal of her husband and subsequent breakdown of her marriage, Laura moves back to London and gets a job with her late mother’s former boss at his independent publication. 

In addition to being his PA, she snags a role as a food critic and reviews new eateries anonymously in her monthly column The Dish. With a former career in coffee and a general passion for food, Laura has experienced taste buds and a unique way with words that keep the readers coming back for more. 

When an extravagantly priced new restaurant is opened in the capital, Laura can’t wait scope out the joint and try the famed food. But after a horrific experience in a vulgar environment with bad service and awful food with outrageous price tags, she really goes to town on her review holding nothing back in preparation for next month’s issue. In a twist of fate, she finds herself torn between the professional anonymity of a job she loves and keeping secrets from a chef she is falling for which makes for a rollercoaster of a story. 

I really loved Laura’s narration; from her work life to her private life but mostly her brilliant way of describing food! Seriously, I felt like I’d pulled up a chair and was sharing a meal with her. I like reading about food anyway but some scenes were actually mouth-watering! I didn’t always find her character likeable (quite frustrating at times!) but she is down to earth and has the acerbic wit that I do enjoy in a lead. 

There were lots of great characters alongside Laura and I also liked that it was set in London with locations I’m familiar with, so both of these factors made me enjoy the story even more. Once the main storylines were set up, I thought that they might be a bit predictable, but actually they weren’t so I liked that it kept me on my toes!

I’ve not read a Stella Newman book before this one, but if her previous novels are half as tasty as this then I am seriously missing out! A delectable morsel of a book full of food, fun and some good old fashioned life lessons too, The Dish is a delightful addition to a hungry reader’s bookshelf. 

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