Mini-Review: The Second Chance Supper Club by Nicole Meier

43889827They had a forever bond, until a sudden tragedy thrust them apart. Now, each at a crossroad in her own life, two sisters’ paths are about to intersect.

Broadcast journalist Julia Frank has it all: a career, an ambitious fiancé, and the hard-won respect of her peers. Until a ruinous decision destroys her reputation, puts her job at risk, and sends her reeling toward the only soul left to turn to: her estranged sister, Ginny. 

The owner of a clandestine supper club hidden in the Arizona desert, Ginny Frank has a lot on her plate. The last thing she wants is more drama—or the burden of nursing her younger sister’s wounded ego. But family is family. Besides, Ginny can use the help in more ways than one, and she’s going to make sure Julia pulls her weight. 

As a tenuous reunion reopens old wounds, Julia and Ginny have no choice but to confront the pain and betrayals of the past. Will working to keep the secret supper club running be just what they need to find common ground and a path toward forgiveness, or will the increasing stress push them even further apart?

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing     Rating: 3/5 stars

The Bottom Line:  In theory, this book has everything I love in literature: family drama, loads of good food, and an idyllic setting that enhances the story.  While I love all these things, they just didn’t seem to come together in this read to create the kind of emotional drama I was expecting.  In fact, there wasn’t really any big drama in this read at all and it read quite flat all the way through from start to finish.  For example: Julia completely screws up at work yet there is never a moment where she loses control, breaks down, and/or freaks out; even her major life changes that follow in the wake of the screw up aren’t met with any real drama.  Additionally, Julia’s sister, Ginny is up to her ears in debt and difficulties with her restaurant and daughter yet there is never a moment of explosion or big, over the top drama.  As deep as she’s in it and given all the stress, I expected a Mount St. Helen’s kind of explosion at some point.  Finally, Olive, Ginny’s daughter is an angsty young adult looking to break free from her mother and while she does storm out once or twice, there is never an explosive argument or breaking point which would have been totally understandable.  In truth, I feel like this book doesn’t truly have a climax, but just reads in a linear fashion, point A to point B, with only a few moments of light drama.  With all the events and situations, the three women are involved in, I expected there to be some big moments, some explosions, some real drama that would shatter everything but those moments, not even one ever came.  I wanted that climax, the emotional dump so the rebuilding, the repairs, and the new paths forged would somehow seem to be more deserved, earned.  With all this being said, I did like aspects of this book: the food – oh, gosh! – the descriptions of the food are amazing, the setting is absolutely idyllic, and I did like the women.  I can’t say I disliked this book, but the lack of a climax really hurt the overall enjoyment for me.

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