Sometimes a book comes along at just the right time giving you something you need and this is exactly what happened with Juliet Ashton’s The Sunday Lunch Club.
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?
Juliet Ashton weaves a story of love, friendship and community that will move you to laughter and to tears. Think Cold Feet meets David Nicholls, with a dash of the joy of Jill Mansell added for good measure.
The prologue drew me in as there were inconsistencies with how the character was feeling and her guests. Why the anxiety? My interest was piqued as there just wasn’t a logical answer. The Piper family and friends kept that momentum going as I became engrossed in their lives.
I loved all the characters. As they host Sunday lunch and their relationships with each other become clearer, I became more and more emotionally invested. Such a fabulous way to get to know them better! The dynamics between the family interested me as my mum had similar age differences with her siblings. The ages of the Piper clan do impact on the roles they take within the family, especially with absent parents. The respect they have for Dinkie (their paternal grandmother) was so touching. Responses to a dilemma are exactly how a family would react. Each one of them have a breakthrough of some sort and I laughed and cried alongside them. It was oh so easy to fall into the Piper family and feel like a part of them.
I do enjoy being surprised in a story and Juliet Ashton managed to do that a few times. Using the information, I made judgements (some of which were correct, some not). At first I couldn’t work out the significance of the letters and I was intrigued. There was still a twist to come.
The Sunday Lunch Club was a quick read for me as I picked it up at every opportunity I had. This is one of those stories that makes you look at your preconceptions. At how jaded your views can become. This is what I meant by The Sunday Lunch Club being a timely read 🙂 A reminder of the positives.
Full of warmth and belonging, this is one story you won’t want to miss.
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