Together at the Table
About This Book
Great love, like great food, always involves risk.
Three months ago, Juliette D’Alisa’s world changed.
In a bittersweet series of events, her mother’s health took a turn for the worse. Juliette and her brother opened their restaurant together to rave reviews, but her romance with Memphis immunologist Neil McLaren ended in anger and tears.
Now as autumn sweeps into the Pacific Northwest, Juliette feels that she’s finally on the cusp of equilibrium. The restaurant continues to thrive, and her family is closer than ever. She and sous-chef Adrian are seeing each other, both in and out of the kitchen. Just when she thinks her world might stop spinning, a trip to the waterfront brings a familiar face across her path.
Rather than dwell on her personal life, Juliette throws herself into work and research. After reading her grandmother’s letters from war-torn Paris, she still wants to know the full story—and she’ll travel across countries and oceans to find it.
But even Juliette can’t outrun the man who stole her heart. As she finally uncovers the truth about her family history, what will it mean for her own chances at lasting love?
There are books I look forward to reading… and then there are books I’d sell body parts to get my hands on as quickly as possible. Lodge’s conclusion to the Two Blue Doors trilogy is definitely one of the latter. After reading A Table by the Window and Reservations for Two, I could not wait to discover how Juliette’s story would end!
Lodge’s effortless prose and strong characters did not disappoint. From the opening story recap via an e-mail Juliette is trying to compose (brilliant plot device, by the way—have loved it throughout all these books!), to the picturesque epilogue and happily-ever-after, I was sucked into the story and literally could not put the book down. Juliette is a fantastic contemporary heroine, equal parts snarky cynic and hopeless romantic, and always realistic.
In fact, that is the greatest strength of this book, and this whole series—it feels so lifelike. I could easily relate to Juliette’s relationship struggles, her desire to balance work and family, even her grief and heartache when life doesn’t go according to plan. And even though she is the only storyteller, the other characters leap off the page with equal force, especially Neil and Caterina. These are people I’d want to text to meet up for coffee and a chat some Saturday morning. And while the characters are all strong believers, this book never feels preachy. I would have no trouble recommending this series to my non-Christian family and friends.
The only downside to this story was that it does not stand on its own. Even as someone who has read the previous two books, I felt lost at times amidst all the character and backstory references, especially at the end when a new stash of her grandmother’s letters leads Juliette and family into a story-within-a-story historical section. I think you really have to have all three books in your hands at the same time, and read them all the way through as a series, in order to really capture the flow and not get lost in the story.
But believe me, it’s a story well worth getting lost in! I’m sad that it’s come to an end, but it’s such a beautiful ending, I can’t wait to reread all three books and spend a lot more time with all these great characters. If you love realistic women’s fiction with a hearty dose of romance and adventure, the Two Blue Doors series is definitely for you!
Available May 3, 2016 from WaterBrook Multnomah