Sunshine and biscotti are two of my favourite things so when I saw this book by Jenny Oliver flash up on Facebook I bought it. Immediately. Clever Facebook.
Thankfully I had no cause to regret my trigger-happiness and now I have a new author to add to my favourites list.
Here is the blurb:
The ovens are pre-heating, the Prosecco is chilling…and The Sunshine and Biscotti Club is nearly ready to open its doors.
But the guests have other things on their minds…
Libby: The Blogger
Life is Instagram-perfect for food blogger Libby…until she catches her husband cheating just weeks before her Italian cooking club’s grand opening.
Eve: The Mum
Eve’s marriage isn’t working, but she’s not dared admit it until now. A trip to Italy to help Libby open The Sunshine and Biscotti Club might be the perfect escape…
Jessica: In Love with her Best Friend
Jessica has thrown herself into her work to shut out the memory of the man who never loved her back. The same man who’s just turned up in Tuscany…
Welcome to Tuscany’s newest baking school – where your biscotti is served with a side of love, laughter and ice-cold limoncello!
I think it would have helped if I had read this info before I started, just to get the characters clear in my head, but I literally saw it, bought the book and started reading without knowing a single thing about it (brave or stupid?).
At a couple of points I got a bit confused over whether Libby was the one with hippy parents or Eve was the one with lots of siblings but that could also be down to the fact I carried on reading after my bedtime.
And that’s the thing about this book, you want to carry on reading it.
There is a lovely, gentle current carrying you along and, as you get deeper into the story, the connection you feel with the characters only makes it harder to stop.
Each chapter is headed either Libby, Jessica or Eve and you follow the story from their particular viewpoint. It didn’t interrupt the flow, as it can sometimes do with a switch.
I like that the women (and the male characters) are all so different. Their varying personalities come across really well but Jenny hasn’t blown loads of words on it, which I think is a true talent. I felt like I could relate to elements of them all and wouldn’t mind being friends with them too.
The wonderful location also comes to life within the pages. In fact, it shows just how convincing the book is when, after reading the final page, I immediately wanted to go on a cooking holiday in Tuscany. Me! Hardly Masterchef material – although neither were Libby’s friends and they all had the time of their lives.
Price (August 2016): 99p on Kindle.
My verdict: Four stars.