Saturday, August 8, 2015

Reservations for Two by Hillary Monton Lodge

Juliette D'Alisa loves her French and Italian family roots. On a trip with her boyfriend, Neil McLaren, she visits her family in France, eating all the pastries she can handle, and visiting Italy, while celebrating her nonno's birthday. During her time in France at the family's chateau, she finds some of her Grand- mere's letters to Juliette's grand- tante and a mystery man.

Reservations for Two is an endearing story of food, love, and history. It is the second book in the Two Blue Doors series.

When Juliette begins to go through the letters, she finds her family history was not as well defined as she thought.

To compound her confusion, Neil and Juliette are becoming increasingly serious, but she lives in Portland, and he lives in Memphis. Her mother is seriously sick with ovarian cancer, so she can't move to Memphis.

Also, her brother Nico, just opened a new restaurant, and needs Juliette's help to get it going.

I thought the premise of this book was excellent. The ideas were complete and succinct. However, there were some many plots in this book, it was confusing. The characters were "alive" on the page, but it really needed to be cut down to two or three plots, whereas there really was more like six or seven.

Also, I felt that the book could have had more spiritual influence. She rarely goes to church, there are barely any scenes of prayer, and they never have conversations about God. For a Christian book, it felt incomplete.

As for grand- mere's letters, I loved them. They were true to the era (the early 1940's) and she has a sense of humor. Unfortunately, they were finally brought in halfway through the book!

Other than these errors, I thought this book was heartwarming, delightful, and had the perfect amount of surprise. I think this book would be very good if it was just went back to the editors office for a little bit of polishing.

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