BOOK REVIEW: A Family Recipe by Veronica Henry

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent- a home usually bustling with noise, people, and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga- seems impossible.
Feeling lost, Laura turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles. Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose and her own exciting path to follow.
But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now they need her in return…
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 382
It’s been a while since I read anything by Veronica Henry but I have loved her latest book, A Family Recipe. The story follows Laura as she waves her youngest daughter away to university. As if that’s not hard enough, Laura then receives some shocking news that rocks her whole world. Suddenly she has a very empty nest and too much time on her hands. Laura turns to her grandmother’s recipe box which she has added to over the years. She loves cooking and entertaining people, maybe this is where her future lies?
Veronica Henry flits between Laura and her husband Dom in the present and then Laura’s grandmother Jilly and her friend Ivy during the Blitz. Number 11 Lark Hill connects both of these periods, a beautiful regency house in Bath that has provided a home and sanctuary to both lead female characters.

A Family Recipe is a really lovely read, I sat and read it in the garden in the sunshine, it would be a great book to take on holiday. Veronica Henry starts with quite a shock for Laura and Jilly so you are straight into the action. I loved how the book went back and forth and it was a clever way to show how many things don’t change. Relationships can always be tricky, families can be a huge source of support but also worry and underlying everything is the sheer importance of friendship.
The setting of Bath was perfect, I have visited many times but Henry provides gorgeous descriptions of the buildings and atmosphere. The house is a huge part of the book and it was interesting to see that even though it had changed, it was still at the heart of the family.
I can highly recommend A Family Recipe, the story is excellent and the characters are delightful.

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