Monday, March 2, 2020

Book Review: The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

The Saturday Night Supper Club (The Saturday Night Supper Club, #1)

The Saturday Night Supper Club (The Saturday Night Supper Club #1)
Author:  Carla Laureano
Publisher:  Tyndale House (2018)
416 pages
Genre:  Inspirational Contemporary Romance

"Three hours into Saturday night dinner service and she was already running on fumes."

Rachel Bishop has worked her way up to being part owner and head chef of Paisley, a casual fine dining restaurant in the heart of Denver's foodie district.  Paisley has only been in operation for a few months and has not yet turned a profit.  Competition is fierce in this market, but Rachel is determined that her restaurant will make it. When local food critic Carlton Espy turns up at the restaurant after writing a review questioning both her cooking and her professional ethics, her business partner thinks she should make a statement to the press.  The same day, an article in The New Yorker by Alexander Kanin appears that makes reference to the review without naming names.  The New Yorker article is defending Rachel, however it is drawing more attention to the review.  Her good friend and media consultant, Ana, suggests that she do an interview to get her point of view out.  Rachel disagrees.  She wants attention for her food, not her personal beliefs.  After a long shift, she is heading to her car when she is approached by a reporter.  Ana has told her to direct all media interaction to her.  However, in the heat of the moment,  Rachel says some things that end up being edited by the reporter to look as if she is saying the opposite of what she is really saying.  Things look bad.  The restaurant was just gaining momentum, will this hurt business?

Alex Kanin despises unfair treatment.  Especially unfairly harsh criticism leveled at people in creative careers.  He had been on the receiving end of plenty of that when his book came out.  However, when he wrote the online article for the The New Yorker, he never expected it to go viral.  When he checks Twitter at the urging of his literary agent, he is stunned.  There are lots of positive Tweets, but there are also Tweets guessing at who the chef he mentioned is.  Alex should be excited about all the buzz, but he has a sinking feeling that he has actually sent more readers to the negative review of Rachel and her restaurant.  

"So why did he feel like he'd done something terrible?"
"It was because he'd inadvertently given those trolls a national stage, which was exactly what they wanted.  And he was profiting from it.  The whole thing made him feel like an ambulance chaser."

He decides he has to contact Rachel and apologize and he must do it in person.  Will she see him?  Will she accept his apology?

What a great book!  It is full of deep characters, delicious food and an irresistible location.  

Rachel is a hard-working, driven woman.  Her restaurant means everything to her, but so do her employees.  They are like family.  It was so interesting to peek into the life of a chef and realize how much work they actually take home with them.  I understand more fully how being a chef is not just a job, it definitely has to be a passion.

Alex is also driven and hard-working.  However, he realizes that his career is just that.  He is passionate about writing, but has learned that it doesn't define him.  Both Rachel and Alex are growing in their faith and we get to see some glimpses of that. They both also have complicated families that have shaped who they are and the decisions they have made.

And the food!  I don't consider myself a foodie, but I enjoyed the interesting food described in the story and the process Rachel goes through to plan a menu.  There were casual food experiences as well at homes and restaurants in the area.

I feel like I visited Denver after reading this book.  The descriptions of locations were so vivid.  I especially have a picture of Alex's rooftop patio.

"As spectacular as the condo had been, the rooftop deck was even more beautiful.  Brick half-walls enclosed it and gave it some privacy from the other patios; potted plants and trees around the outside edges made it a garden wonderland.  A long metal table dominated the center of the wood-decked space, with smaller conversation areas set up among the plants.  He had even strung lights up above.

And the view: she could see all the way south to the edge of the city.  At night, there would be no better place to be."

The book contains themes of hard work, dealing with criticism, our identity, faith, family and of course, food. If you are looking for a light romance with deep characters, great food and a beautiful location I highly recommend this book.


  1. I've come over here from your comment on the Coffee, Tea Books and Me blog. Hello fellow Wisconsinite! I have a feeling you are not too far from me.

    I almost followed the Tim Challies Challenge but put it on the back burner. Maybe it is not too late....

  2. Nice to hear from a fellow Wisconsinite! We are having such lovely weather here I am afraid to hope that spring is here.

    It is definitely not too late to follow the Tim Challies reading challenge. I have been doing it loosely for several years. I just read what I want to read and then see if it fits into a category. Also, if I feel I need to get out of a rut, it gives me some great suggestions for something different.

    Thanks for stopping by!