The Food of Love: Book 1, Laura's Story by Prue Leith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars (Book club choice)
How did I miss that this was Book 1 of a series? It was printed on the cover and I missed it.
This is Laura’s story. Laura is brought up as part of a farming family in the Cotswold, daughter to Maud and Donald. Donald is a snob and when Laura discovers she is pregnant and in love with Giovanni, an Italian ex POW, Donald disowns her.
Laura and Giovanni head to London to try and start a life together but post WW2 times are hard and they end up in separate homeless shelters. Laura is cared for by nuns on the understanding that her baby will be given up for adoption. She really wants to keep the baby but when it arrives early, realising that it not Giovanni’s baby but her former abusive boyfriend’s, she reluctantly gives the baby up.
Giovanni is devastated by this decision, not knowing he wasn’t the father, but he and Laura gradually manage to get back on their feet and start a business, which quickly becomes successful. They create a family home, with Giovanni’s sister and her sons and at the end Laura is reconciled with her father.
However, the ending is quite abrupt and I didn’t see that coming. But this, for me, is a holiday read. It wasn’t challenging at all and certainly not a masterpiece. The food descriptions were good but you wouldn’t expect less from a cookery expert. Maybe the author should stick to food rather than fiction.
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