Title: The Saturday Night Supper Club
Author: Carla Laureano
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication Date: 06 February 2018
Genre: Contemporary, Christian Fiction, Christian Romance
Rachel Bishop is an award-winning chef and part-owner of an upcoming restaurant who is seemingly at the peak of her career. Her life has been turned upside after a food blogger and restaurant reviewer publishes a less than a raving review on his popular blog. Her situation is worsened when essayist Alex Kanin innocently attempts to address the ills of social media in an article that eventually went viral. However, Rachel is implicated in his essay and her reputation is further damaged. So fuelled by his guilt-driven writer’s block Alex attempts to help out Rachel by starting the Saturday night supper club.
Whether or not you are not a foodie or a diehard follower of Top Chef and Chopped, this book is quite atmospheric in its portrayal of the behind the scenes workings of a restaurant. Readers, especially of the non-vegan and non-vegetarian kind will appreciate the mouth-watering descriptions of the modern continental dishes which Rachel and her colleagues whip up in their kitchens.
The contemporary setting is laced with pop culture anecdotes which will make it quite relatable to readers in 2018. This is not your typical light and fluffy read with its colourful characters, mature and believable dialogues than the average romance novel.
Laureano does not shy away from weaving contemporary issues like social media influences and equal rights in her narrative. In one instance, Rachel seeks a professional endorsement from female chef colleague who declines. She reminds Rachel that she once walked off a speaking panel that they shared that was addressing gender and professionalism in the food industry. Rachel, in turn, defended her decision citing that was not going to bash male colleagues in the name of “we women have to stick together“. While equal rights is a priority issue in this era, it does not mean that it should condemn all men for the actions of a selected few. There are men who are going out of their women to support and mentor women especially in the workplace and they deserve recognition for their contribution.
One thing that is quite was a bit unique about The Saturday Night Supper Club is that though it is branded as Christian fiction, the author is not preachy and does not thrust verses at the reader. Yet at the same time, the book is neither cheesy nor overly sanitised which seems to be one of the biggest criticism of Christian fiction. So Hallmark representatives out there, this would be a great movie adaptation. This would be a good book club pick since it has quite a number of great discussion topics that are highlighted above.
Note: Advanced Reader’s Copy and Book Cover sourced from Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unpaid review.