“Together at the Table” ~ a review of Hillary Manton Lodge’s newest

Recently, I had the opportunity to review the third in Hillary Manton Lodge’s newest Two Blue Doors series:  Together at the Table.  What a satisfying conclusion to the series!

Together at the Table

The Two Blue Doors series is an engrossing delightful series about a Portland culinary family, secret identities, France, and World War II.  The narrative shifts throughout the stories.  First, we experience Juliette and her first-person observations and experiences with food, the family restaurants, and long-distance love.  Our second perspective is offered by Juliette’s grandmother, now deceased, but whose letters richly tell a story that neither Juliette, nor her large extended foodie family, knew.

We also get to see Neil again.  (Spoiler ahead!)  Although he and Juliette had broken off their relationship, they’re back in touch…or at least Juliette hopes they will be via email.  She has written so much that she wanted to share with him: her mother’s recent death; the three-month anniversary of her family’s restaurant, Two Blue Doors; her own grief journey; and that she really is sad about the way their dating relationship ended so very abruptly.

However, like its predecessors, this email goes into the drafts folder.  And doesn’t get sent.

Juliette’s mother’s illness and death also put an end to Juliette’s search of the mysteries behind the photograph of the handsome man and her grandmother’s letters.  But the questions remain.  Who was that  man?  Who was he to Juliette’s grandmother?  Why isn’t there a record of her grandmother’s connection with him—and what happened in France to Juliette’s family during WWII?

When she least expects it, Juliette runs into Neil–who lives in Memphis, but suddenly pops up in a park in Portland–while, of all things, she’s on a picnic date with Adrian, her brother’s sous chef.  Awkward!  Yet the meeting is a blessing—as Neil and Juliette are reminded that some things are worth working for and saving.

Join Juliette on her journey back into love, back to France where she finally discovers the rich and amazing heritage of her family, and solves her grandmother’s secret.  You’ll love every bit of the story.  I think that this book is my favorite in the series!

You’ll also enjoy the fabulous recipes that Manton has placed here and there following key chapters; beautiful and delightful foods that the characters just made–and enjoyed–themselves.  You may even want to try them out yourself.  Who could resist Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup, or Goat Cheese with Pistachios and Cranberries, or Polenta Rounds with Cherry Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic?  Amazing food to eat while you read a lovely story!

Read more about the author at Waterbrook’s page about Hillary Manton Lodge.  Visit Waterbrook’s page on Together at the Table.  And do be sure to check out the other two books in the series, A Table by the Window and Reservations for Two.  You will want to know the backstory before you jump into book three, I promise!

Enjoy!  –Wren

 

 

 

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Disclaimer:  From time to time, finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

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