“I love these Sundays. You’re never sure if there’ll be way too much food or not enough. There’s always some sort of row. Sometimes somebody cries. But they’re never dull!”
The Sunday Lunch Club is a lovely read following the varied immediate and extended members of Anna’s family. Every so often, they take turns to meet at each others houses for lunch on, yes you’ve guessed it, a Sunday. The focus is mostly on Anna who is coming to terms with an unexpected and unplanned pregnancy at the age of 40. Also part of the Sunday Lunch Club is her sister Maeve who lurches from one unsuitable relationship to another, her brother Neil, his husband Santi and their adopted daughter Paloma and their younger brother Josh, always rather quiet and enigmatic. Somewhat strangely, Anna’s ex-husband is also part of the club. Their split was amicable and they still work together as business partners. And from time to time, the family’s beloved and wise Irish grandmother Dinkie joins in whether by the lunch club meeting in her nursing home room or via Skype.
The family welcomes new friends and new lovers as the lunch club grows and reading the book is like pulling up a chair at the table yourself, joining in with the gossip, drama and laughter of these chaotic lunches. “You’d better get used to it. All the lunches are like this. It’s better than telly.” It put me in mind of our own weekly Sunday gatherings where my parents, my mother-in-law and my daughters all enjoy spending time together. It can get noisy at times though, just like in the Piper household. Each member of the Piper family has some secret or crisis to deal with at some point during the book. What gets them through is the love, support and understanding they offer to each other.
As the members of The Sunday Lunch Club discover, life is all about taking second chances and being true to yourself. The strong bonds between family and friends are evident throughout in this uplifting and charming book.
My thanks to the publishers Simon & Schuster for my review copy from Netgalley. The Sunday Lunch Club is available now in ebook and paperback formats. It will be available from your usual book retailer or you can order a copy online here: The Sunday Lunch Club
From the back of the book
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.
Juliet says – “I write when I’m happy, I write when I’m morose, I write when I should be doing other things. I’m not much like George Bernard Shaw (except maybe the beard) but I do agree with him on this: “The more I work, the more I live”.”