I have a confession to make. I’ve never actually finished a Jane Austen novel. (I cringe because I can hear the collective gasp of those who read this…) It’s terrible, I know! I’m working on it. I picked up a copy of Pride and Prejudice this weekend and it’s on my list for the year.
The good news is, I didn’t have to have read a single Austen book to thoroughly enjoy this gem. The main characters are, as the title suggests, sisters Lizzy and Jane. Lizzy, the younger, is the head chef of Feast, a successful restaurant in New York. Jane, the older of the two, is battling the same form of cancer that their mom died of years earlier. When the novel begins, they are not exactly the best of friends. Lizzy only goes to visit Jane to get inspiration for her cooking, which appears to be lacking.
While there is a lot of messy history to wade through, Lizzy and Jane timidly find middle ground during Lizzy’s visit. As a whole, the novel celebrates the strength of family ties that hold us together in the midst of life’s hardest struggles.
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I felt that the pace was reflective of real life and real relationships. My favorite aspect of the book was the depth of the characters. Katherine Reay brought each character to life in a way that made me feel like I could really know them.
One thing worth mentioning about this book is that it is not overtly a “Christian” novel as one might expect from Thomas Nelson publishers. It inspires faith quietly through the faith of Lizzy and Jane’s mother. I don’t see this as a negative necessarily, but would love to see more of how their mother’s faith influences them after this story ends. Perhaps the story might continue through a sequel? Either way, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Highly recommend for those who enjoy “drama” or inspirational fiction. *I received a free copy of this book in ebook form through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.*