Book Club: Love, Lies and Linguine

Author: Hilary Spiers
ISBN: 978-1-76029-444-1
RRP: $29.99

Love, Lies & Linguine is the second book about widowed sisters Hester and Harriet, I hadn’t done my research before signing up for this as a book club title so wasn’t aware of this going in. I was a little sceptical starting the book because I’m not a fan of starting a series midway through but I found that this one stood up well on its own.

Hester and Harriet are widowed sisters who have moved in together, I was expecting …. I can’t really put into words what I was expecting. Something along the lines of the older English ladies turned amateur detective, that’s not what Love, Lies & Linguine is.

The character list is colourful and diverse which was wonderful to read. Hester and Harriet have quite a group of friends, Daria is a migrant turning heads in the village with her young son Milo and brother Artem; Ben is the teenage nephew who aspires to be a chef and is easily led and Finbar the local homeless man. Each of these characters are fascinating for their depth and their diversity, none more so than Finbar who has many hidden talents that were totally unexpected.

Hester and Harriet have an annual holiday, usually to the same spot but this year they have decided to broaden their horizons and head to Italy. Problem is there are issues between the sisters long before they head off and with tensions rising it affects their holiday enjoyment as both are feeling a little prickly.

Back in the village Daria is celebrating the arrival of the paperwork allowing her to stay in England and Ben is trying to talk his way out of a VERY bad idea hatched by his friend.

The story takes place over the space of a week and a half and is separated into days, then told in alternating chapters following the sisters in Italy and their friends in the village back in England.

It was certainly refreshing to have heroines in a different age bracket to what you often read. These ladies have lived full lives and are settling into a new role of surrogate grandmothers to Milo, mentors to Ben and friends to Daria and Finbar. They still have a great deal of energy and passion for life, and there are second chances for love… but what will that mean for their little cottage and the life they have built together?

Ben is a seventeen year old boy with a crush on one of the girls at school, and she is how he gets roped into making some bad decisions. I think Ben was basically a good kid but, like many seventeen year olds, can be easily led to bad decisions. He knew from the outset and though a large part of him wanted to back out he allowed himself to be drawn into a situation that was destined to end badly, but I don’t think anyone would have thought it would be quite so bad.

The beautiful thing about the book is the way that everyone comes together, not to help Ben get out of trouble but to protect Hester and Harriet.

Love, Lies & Linguine is very much a story of the characters and their relationships more than the events in the book. There is enough information about the events of the first book, Hester & Harriet, to be able to begin here without losing anything. I am interested to see how far the series will progress and what surprises Spiers has in store for the sisters.

Hilary Spiers can be found on her Website.

Love, Lies & Linguine is published by Allen & Unwin and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Allen & Unwin 10 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading  Love, Lies & Linguine so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

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