Title: The Sunday Lunch Club
Author: Juliet Ashton
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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?
The Sunday Lunch Club is a charming, fun read about an extended family who meet together every few weeks for Sunday Lunch Club. The book mainly revolves around these lunches and how various characters interact together (though there is some of the narrative which covers time in between the lunches). Though there are some serious issues at play here, the book manages to stay fairly light-hearted and fun, but with an added layer of emotion which Juliet Ashton does so well.
There are funny moments and heart-warming parts which will leave you feeling all warm inside and the characters have their own quirks, with everyone from the seemingly ‘sensible one’ Anna – who I really warmed to, and would happily have read more of – through to Neil, who at times I quite disliked due to his cattiness, but by the end of the novel had also warmed to! Some parts I could have guessed at, but there are some surprises too, with an element of mystery in some of the characters’ stories.
Most of the narrative is told through Anna’s eyes, and she brings just the right level of calmness to situations despite dealing with her own problems – or perhaps not problems but ‘surprises’! It’s a unique family set up, with each of Anna’s siblings as individual and different as you can get, but this makes The Sunday Lunch Club so much more of an interesting read – and there’s bound to be at least one character which you think, “I know someone a bit like that!”
This was just what I fancied reading – light-hearted, happy and wholesome. The perfect Sunday-in-your-pyjamas-with-a-cuppa read.
Many thanks to Simon & Schuster – Books and the City for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
The Sunday Lunch Club is out in the UK on 19 April.