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Customer Reviews for WaterBrook Press A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1

WaterBrook Press A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1

The youngest heir to a French-Italian restaurant dynasty, food writer Juliette D'Alisa has spent her life negotiating her skill with words and her restaurant aspirations. When her brother Nico offers her a chance to open a restaurant together, she feels torn-does she really have what it takes? Should she risk leaving her journalism career?

After the death of her grandmother, Juliette discovers an antique photograph of a man who looks strikingly like her brother. As the truth behind the picture reveals romance and dark secrets, Juliette struggles to keep the mystery away from her nosy family until she can uncover the whole story.

Inspired by her grandmother's evolving story, Juliette resolves to explore the world of online dating. To her surprise, she finds a kindred spirit in Neil McLaren, a handsome immunologist based in Memphis, Tennessee. With a long-distance relationship simmering, Juliette faces life-shifting decisions. How can she possibly choose between a promising culinary life and Neil, a man a world away in more ways than one? And is it possible her Grandmother's story can help show the way?

Average Customer Rating:
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4.6
 out of 
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Customer Reviews for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Review 1 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

For the Foodie In Us All

Date:July 14, 2014
Customer Avatar
Casey
Location:Oregon
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
A delight to a foodie’s heart and soul. A sweet sigh for the romantic reader. A depth of writing for the admirer of good women’s fiction. This book has a taste of it all to make it a worthwhile read.
I am a foodie. Yes, I am. However, in being a foodie, I’m more of a snob about where my milk and chicken comes from. Juliette, however, is a foodie on a whole other level and even for the mac&cheese reader, I do believe they will be salivating by the time they’ve finished book. And maybe tempted to try a recipe or two.
Juliette is one of those characters I would love to sit down with over tea and cookies and get to know her. She had depths I don’t feel were fully reached in this book—which is actually a good thing in this case since there is a #2 coming soon. The romance is simple and sweet, yet complex.
Something hard to pull off without leaving the reader unsatisfied. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to like the ending. I loved it. It was perfect, while leaving me hungry for more. Like a good meal should.
I thought it was well balanced between characterization and action, though at times it did feel as though the plot plodded a bit. But those moments were few and the book overall a quick read.
An easy four stars with an eagerness for the second release, hopefully in the near future. I’ll be looking forward to returning to Juliette’s kitchen.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publisher for my copy to review.
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Review 2 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 8, 2014
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debbiedeefisher
Location:comstock, NE
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge was a fun read. It is filled with many recipes as the story of food writer Juliette is told. The story opens up with Juliette receiving a special table her grandmother willed to her. Juliette is the youngest in her family who are all involved in food from owning food business, chefs, etc.
After a relationship gone bad, Juliette tries on line dating. She "meets" someone after she thought she had deleted her account to the online dating service.
This story was so well written, it was hard to put down. The ending is such a surprise because it is like it stopped mid sentence. Now I need to find the second book to the series. Ü
I highly recommend this book and received this e-book free from Water Brook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 3 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Hungry For More

Date:July 1, 2014
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book made me hungry :)
A Table by the Window is a book I passed by a couple of times, not sure if I really wanted to review it or if I would enjoy it. But I kept hearing about it from authors who I really like reading, so I gave it a shot.
I have to say I am very glad I did.
This isn't a fast paced book but it isn't slow either. It's an action that is different but the story did keep moving along nicely, I was never bored.
Juliette is a great character, struggling to find herself and her path in life. She has suffered a loss recently with the passing of her grandmother and with that comes a picture she discovers that makes no sense to her. There are a lot of things happening within the family right now so she isn't comfortable bringing it them.
Hillary did a great job giving each character in the book his or her own personality and Juliette has a large family. I loved reading the French words. I took three years of French in high school so I was pleasantly surprised when I actually understood some of what the was being said in French.
The slow romance between Juliette and Neil is also nice and keeps you wondering how they could make this relationship work.
Even more fun, especially for book clubs, are the recipes at the end of a lot of the chapters. If you love to cook you will appreciate that bonus.
Overall a good read that I am glad I took the time to finally review.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
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Review 4 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A heartwarming, charming story...and food

Date:June 29, 2014
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Gazpacho
Location:Clare, MI
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Foodista: Someone who loves food in the same vein as fashionista." Urban Dictionary
Are you a foodie or a foodista? If you are, you are sure to enjoy this book, if for no other reason than to try the delectable recipes included at the end of each chapter. If you are like me, not a foodie or a foodista, but you like good character-building books, you may enjoy this one for its unique voice: a family bigger than life, Mediterranean culture, fine dining, and heart. Just think about My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but steeped in Italian and French culture and tradition instead.
Like any other twenty-something adult, Juliette D'Alisa had a lot to juggle from day to day. After celebrating a 96th birthday, her grandmother died. She was so vital that it took the entire family by surprise. One day, Jules was looking through her Grand-mere's French cookbook when she discovered a mystery--the picture of a man who looked very much like her brother, Nico. She wanted to investigate this unknown relative but decided to keep it to herself when during one family dinner her maman announced she had stage 3 cancer. She didn't want to add to the family distress.
Jules, dealing with her high maintenance dramatic family, involved in a secret dating relationship, working a stressful job, handling a mother with cancer, deciding whether to partner with her brother in opening up a new restaurant, grieving the loss of her grand-mere, and suffering an identity crisis provides a moving plot line for the book.
What made this book special for me was the way the author combines family dynamics with Old World charm and wit. The book is pure artistry. The family's warmth and love for each other is never in question. But Juliette struggles with her place and purpose within the family structure. Dating outside the family niche is one way she explores her potential.
The online correspondence between Juliette and Neil is written in a sweet and touching manner. It was a joy to follow their growing relationship because it fit the atmosphere the author created in this book--a bit of old-fashioned courtesy and elegance. Neil himself is southern charm embodied and intelligent. When they finally met in person, I couldn't help but want their long distance relationship to step up a notch and become real for them.
The author's sense of humor is another reason I enjoyed this book. The story is warm, witty, and draws the reader into the family circle effortlessly as welcomed guest. There are many laugh out loud moments and times when we get inside Juliette's head and see her circumstances from her point of view.
This is not necessarily a true romance, in my opinion. In most of the content we only know about Jule's side of the relationship, so I would label this book as women's fiction and contemporary literature, with light romantic elements. My guess is that there will be a second book in which Neil and Juliette resolve their long distance dilemma. If that's true, then I'm looking forward to reading that book. I hope it has more of Neil's story in it, because I like his character. He sounds perfect for Juliette.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Blogging for Books on behalf of Waterbrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 5 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:June 24, 2014
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Kara
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
A Table by the Window, by Hillary Manton Lodge, is an interesting novel. It is full of recipes for the aspiring chef. It tells the story of a young woman attempting to make important life decisions and deal with difficult issues.
Juliette D’Alisa has the chance to open a restaurant with her brother. Coming from a family of restaurant owners and chefs, a part of her wants to jump at the chance. But having failed in the effort once, she is not sure it is wise to give up her journalism career as a food writer. When she begins talking to a man she met on an on-line dating sight, she is excited about the possibilities. But he lives in Memphis, and she lives in Portland. Trying to deal with the death of her grandmother as well as her mother’s cancer, she struggles with the many possible changes in her life.
This book was interesting, but I had a difficult time enjoying it fully. While the many references to gourmet cooking and recipes may appeal to many readers, they left me a little frustrated. I did enjoy the story line. I found myself sympathizing with Juliette and wondering who the man in the picture she found could be.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys gourmet cooking.
Kara
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
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Review 6 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great start to a new series...

Date:June 10, 2014
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Jen Pen
Location:Midwest
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
SUMMARY:
A journalist by trade, Juliette D’Alisa is no stranger to the food world. As a food writer, daughter to a French-Italian restaurant owner and a member of a family immersed in the food industry, Juliette is tempted to join her brother in opening a new restaurant when he asks. Part taking risks and part finding her own self, Juliette must consider the consequences involved in such a move. Add to that dilemma secrets uncovered about her late grandmother along with a long distance relationship and quite a recipe for a good culinary novel emerges…
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Yet another new author for me, A Table by the Window was a delectable read with delicious fun and a side of mystery thrown in the mix. As a fan of The Food Channel and cooking, this novel proved to be a good extension of my interests. With appetizing recipes included (though a bit involved), this was truly a delight for taste buds. I look forward to reading the next book of the Family Secrets and Heirloom Recipes series as well as the author’s previous Amish novels. Bon Appetit!
RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of A Table by the Window from WaterBrook Press for my honest review*
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Review 7 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A table by the window ~ Hillary Manton Lodge

Date:June 4, 2014
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debs
Location:Maine
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This book is a fun and mysterious story. The main character is Juliette and how she makes choices in her life that are both complicated and part of what should she do vs. what does everyone else expect her to do. Juliette is a food blogger, single, youngest child of five, has a large family, involved with online dating, and her family owns a restaurant. This book is packed with lots of issues and it is never a dull moment with a mysterious plot of an old family photo and what does it mean? The mystery is all about a man in the photo and how is he connected to Juliette and her family? You won't know until you read the book, as this is the 1st book in a series, it does end but with the option to continue in the next book. At the end of each chapter is a family recipe, that you can cook yourself.
I liked this book and it was very entertaining. I would recommend this book to women and those that want to read a good chic book. This book would make a great hallmark movie. The downfall to this book would be the ending, it doesn't really close the story, it is left open to be concluded in book 2 of the series. Which now I can't wait for the next book to know what is going to happen.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Blogging for books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
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Review 8 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Perfect for a Quiet Afternoon

Date:June 4, 2014
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Anonymous
Location:Columbus, GA
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I was totally captivated by "A Table by the Window" right up to the moment when I realized it wasn’t going to end.
Then I was devastated. Somebody should have given me a heads up.
But then I might not have read the book, and I’m glad I read the book—even if I do have to wait for the sequel to find out how the story ends.
"A Table by the Window" is the story of Juliette, the youngest of five siblings whose parents met on an airplane while emigrating, one from France and one from Italy. Juliette’s grandmother, a pastry chef, has just passed away, and Juliette has inherited a mystery. As she follows clues to solve it, she finds herself solving the mysteries of her own life, discovering who she is and what she wants aside from being the youngest adult member of a restaurant dynasty and meeting that flamboyant family's expectations.
As a bonus to a well-told story, most chapters end with recipes for dishes that Juliette either eats or cooks over the course of the book. I enjoyed reading through the recipes, whose instructions include a touch of humor, but I don’t think I’m skilled enough to try many of them. Most included ingredients I’d never heard of. I was surprised to learn, however, that the sugar cookies I bake every Christmas are Bavarian. Their recipe is in this book. It is one my family knows well.
The story itself is a perfect read for a quiet afternoon. I will be watching for the sequel. I recommend the book to you.
Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
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Review 9 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 26, 2014
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randomamb
Location:TX
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I loved so many things about this book. The family dynamic is outstanding, and their love for food is outmatched only by their love for each other. This book revolves around both food and family, and it is packed with excellent tips and recipes. The recipes feel very relaxed and honest, i.e. “This can take a bit, so have handy a book or your phone or your child or something,” or “Add some heavy cream (or don’t, if you prefer).” Each chapter begins with a quote from someone famous in the food world, whether it be Julia Child, James Beard, Anthony Bourdain, or Nora Ephron. The quotes are one of my very favorite parts of the book, and I found myself looking forward to each new chapter just to see the next quote! One of my favorites is this statement by the legendary James Beard, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” A Table by the Window includes a family history mystery, a bit of romance, family drama, and a lot of food. Family heritage is a strong theme throughout the story. While this book isn’t focused on spirituality, God is apparent in the story. The religious aspect feels very realistic, not over or under done, and I appreciate the seriousness with which the topic is approached. There are little things throughout the story that made me smile, including but not limited to the mention of one of my favorite movies, Stranger Than Fiction, and a recipe for a big part of the movie, Bavarian Sugar Cookies. I also really liked the mention of Ellie Holcomb (singer) and the details we are given when Juliette is getting ready for her date: we find out what makeup she puts on! The only thing I don’t love about this book is the way it ends. I think it deserves a stronger conclusion. Everything is not resolved, which is fine, but I feel like the story just got cut in half. There’s an excerpt of the sequel at the end, and it picks up exactly where this one leaves off…exactly as in the same conversation. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. I think there may have been a better way to end this book and start the next. That being said, the sequel offers a promising plot and I very much look forward to reading it.
My favorite lines from A Table by the Window:
“…echoes are the loudest in empty spaces.”
“After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one’s relatives.” –Oscar Wilde
“But I really love writing about food. The way I see it, you can spend hours—days, even—preparing a meal. You eat, you enjoy, but ultimately it’s gone and you’re left with the memories. I like to write about food to preserve it, to remember the experience. I think that writing about a meal makes it last forever.”
If you like reading stories about family and food, this book is definitely for you. However, I would also recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good fiction. A Table by the Window is engaging, well written, and honest. Don’t miss it!
*I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
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Review 10 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wow. And Yum.

Date:May 18, 2014
Customer Avatar
Iola
Location:New Zealand
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Juliette D’Alisa is the youngest of five children born into a foodie family in Portland, Oregon. Her mother is French, her father Italian, and the whole family is involved in the food business in some way, either as a restaurant owner, chef, or in Juliette’s case, as a food writer for the local newspaper.
A Table by the Window is narrated in the first person, by Juliette, who is currently going through a tough time. Her grandmother has recently died, she’s lamenting the she’s 28 and doesn’t have a boyfriend, and she’s not happy at work. Juliette is a great character. She’s real, and I enjoyed reading about her family, the food, and all the cultural references (although I was a little disturbed to read the reference to the Top Gear presenters as “middle-aged”. Hamster is less than a year older than me. Surely not …).
I loved the writing. Lines like “my pantry had grown to resemble an elitist food bank” appealed to me, as did Juliette’s comments on restaurants:
“The best restaurants [add] … an element of delight. Of surprise. And the worst restaurants do the opposite of that. So I want to guide people to the good ones.”
That reflect my beliefs about book reviews. I want to find books that have that element of delight, to recommend to others who are searching for a good novel that’s a little different to the usual offerings. A Table by the Window certainly passes that test. It’s a mixture of women’s fiction, mystery and romance, and the added recipes only add to the appeal.
I’m looking forward to the sequel which will (I hope) show us a little more about Juliette, Neil, and the family secrets. And hopefully some more recipes. Recommended for fans of authors like Christa Parrish and Meg Mosseley.
Thanks to WaterBrook Press and Blogging for Books for providing a free book for review.
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Review 11 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Makes me want to cook!

Date:May 14, 2014
Customer Avatar
Teddy G
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Juliette D'Alisa comes from a big family with big personalities, and a genetic predisposition for good cooking. Having decided she didn't like the pressure of cooking in somebody else's kitchen, Juliette has ended up in the food writing business, where she is content, if not happy. Now, with her beloved Grand-Mere having passed away, and her mother announcing her own shocking news, Juliette and her family are forced to reevaluate their dreams for their lives, and what they want for each other as well as themselves. Does this include a new career? A new love? How can Juliette start living life for herself?
This book pulled me in immediately. So much so that, before I was even 50 pages in, I ordered a copy for a friend, because the book called to me that she would love it. Cooking, love, an Italian/French/American family - it all sung from the pages and created a family and story that I wanted to immerse myself in and stay for awhile. Juliette had some hard decisions to make that made her feel very real, but there was enough humor and lightheartedness, especially in her correspondence with her new online friend, that it made for a very enjoyable, rich story. While books with a cooking theme usually make me wish that I was a better cook, this one made me want to get up and cook the recipes included within its pages. Most of them are too complicated and gourmet for me to actually prepare, but there were several that I may return to and attempt. I do wish that there were links for the recipes, though, so that I didn't have to risk getting ingredients on the books' pages!
I enjoyed this book thoroughly and give it 4 stars. The characters were strong, the writing was good, and I was super excited to see that there's going to be a sequel, because I wasn't ready for the story to end.
I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Press, as part of their Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 12 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Delicious tale!

Date:May 14, 2014
Customer Avatar
Andrea Cox
Location:Texas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The cover of A Table by the Window instantly intrigued me. The black-and-white look balanced by the burgundy tones of the title and byline spoke of another time and place as well as adventure. The dreamy-eyed stare of the cover model, looking directly at the reader, made me wonder what secrets she held. Ever since I first saw this cover online, I’ve wanted to read the book.
Then I read the back cover copy. It brought an entirely new depth to my desire to read this book.
Hillary Manton Lodge crafted a beautiful story centered around the food the characters love creating, eating, and sharing with one another. This contemporary romance felt like it came from a different era. It also felt personal, like Juliette and Nico and the rest of their family were really good friends of mine. Maybe that’s because it’s written so eloquently in the first person. Or perhaps it’s because I was pulled into the tale right from the beginning. One of the things I particularly liked was the inclusion of some of the recipes of foods Juliette and her family and friends made in the chapters. I’d never seen recipes included within the text before, but it was a mark of ingenuity on the author’s part. Very nice touch.
My heart twisted at Juliette’s longing when I read this line in chapter one: “Restaurants may have been my first love, but that didn’t mean we were meant to be.” Oh, the anguish I felt for her in that moment! As her journey unfolded on the pages, I was tugged along very gently until suddenly I was fully engrossed in Juliette’s life. I kept whispering words of encouragement to her, and yes, I shared her tears. When a book grabs me so totally, that’s when I know I’ve been reading a masterpiece.
Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah for the complimentary copy of A Table by the Window in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 13 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good summer read

Date:April 30, 2014
Customer Avatar
Cheryl
Location:Prospect,KY
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Juliette's recently deceased grandmother left her the prep table from her kitchen, which held a book of memories for Juliette. She was the perfect person to hand it down to. She had spent years working in the bakery with her grandmother and was the keeper of her grandmother's recipes. On a sleepless night when she is trying to decide if she wants to open a restaurant with her brother, Juliette finds a photo of a young man who looks much like her brother if he had lived in her grandmother's era tucked away safely in a favorite recipe book inside the inherited table. Who is this man who definitely isn't her grandfather? As Juliette begins to piece together her grandmother's story, her own chance at romance comes along. Across the generations, Juliette's grandmother still plays an important role in her own future and decisions.
A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge is a wonderful light-hearted story of family ties with a bit of mystery thrown in and is "sprinkled" with delicious looking recipes throughout. However, many of those recipes do contain spices or ingredients not usually found in my kitchen so would require a trip to the grocery. The book appears to be the first in a series since Juliette's choices are not completely revealed even at the close of the book which ended rather abruptly. I typically prefer to read series after all are released but was unaware this was book 1 when I ordered it. Any attempt to have a strong Christian message wasn't part of this book. While the family is completely honest and behave in a manner that is Christ-like, the only mention of anything God that I recall is that they went to church. I did enjoy the relationships between the siblings, with their bantering, teasing, ups and downs. They are a family who laughs together and works together. All that to say, I enjoyed the book a lot but didn't love it. It does make a fun, light read--perhaps at the beach this summer?
I had never read anything by Ms. Lodge but will be looking for others by her, particularly book 2 in this series to see how Juliette turns out. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 14 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Great, Laid-Back Read

Date:April 24, 2014
Customer Avatar
Callie
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In "A Table By The Window" by Hillary Manton Lodge, food writer Juliette D'Alisa inherits a cooking table from her grandmother, and as she is searching through the drawers she finds an old cookbook with a photo taped to the dustcover - a photo of a man with a suspicious resemblance to others in her family. As she tries to figure out who is in the photo, her brother approaches her about starting their own restaurant, and Juliette decides to give online dating a try. Should she leave her food writing job to open the restaurant with her brother? What about Neil, the man she met through an online dating site? What does she really want?
I enjoyed this book. It wasn't one of those books that left me dying to see what happened from one chapter to the next, but it was enjoyable and interesting when I did get a chance to pick it up. I think that this makes it a perfect vacation book, because it is easy to pick up and put back down again while still holding my interest! It was just a nice, cozy, laid-back book, and I liked it.
One thing that also makes this book unique is the recipes the author includes in the pages - gourmet recipes of all skill levels are included at the end of many of the chapters. I feel like I should keep this book in my kitchen so I can try out some of the recipes!
I really liked the main character, Juliette, and she seemed realistic and relatable. I'm also very interested to see what she ultimately decides about all the decisions in her life, especially her relationship with Neil! The ending felt really sudden to me, and the plot was not resolved in this book. I'm looking forward to reading the next book to find out what happens!
Note: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.
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Review 15 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great food lover book

Date:April 13, 2014
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Joan K. Landis
Location:Perkiomenville, PA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I would recommend this book to my friends. This is the first book I have read by Hillary Manton Lodge and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a good romance that wasn't so obvious as to the outcome of the book. It is well written with great characters. I especially liked the respect the main character Juliette had for her grandmother's baking expertize and her private life. Some of the recipes look interesting and I might try my hand at a few. Overall I would rate this modern day romance the five stars it deserves.
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Review 16 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Delightful

Date:April 4, 2014
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StoryGirl
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The reason I don't normally like contemporary fiction is because I never agree with the "modern" worldview of the characters, and I must admit I can't really say this book was an exception to that, as there were a few differences in our beliefs (this was mostly with dating, and later kissing.) However, it was never horribly offensive, and you know what? Overall, I really, really liked this book. It was modern, but had an almost vintage feel to it- a fact reinforced by the black-and-white cover, perhaps.
The recipes at the end of each chapter sounded delicious- seriously, the Nutella Mousse recipe was so beautiful I thought I was going to cry. (That's only a slight exaggeration. But it was enough to drool over.) I felt like the characters could be a bit food snobbish sometimes, but given their background, it was understandable. But the plot was really fun and interesting, if a bit laid back. I loved, loved, loved the French/ Italian heritage of Juliette, and since I'm currently taking French it was fun to try and pick out all the French phrases I knew :)
There could have been a bit more of an overt Christian message; the characters, for the most part acted in a Christian-like, godly way, but other than a few mentions of going to church and praying, I wouldn't say it felt "Christian" unless you compared its fundamental worldview to that of other secular books.
Juliette was really likable, and even more remarkable, so was her love interest, Neil. (What can I say? He made Juliette watch Doctor Who. There's a keeper right there.) Even though the lifestyles of the characters were so different than my own, I still found them relatable (especially Juliette) and I honestly loved nearly every bit of this book- and though the ending was a bit abrupt, I can deal with it knowing that there's a sequel forthcoming. One I am quite sure I'll be reading!
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
*note- I feel a bit tentative giving this book 5 stars since I wouldn't say it's one of my all time favorites (and I'm pretty picky about giving books 5 stars)but since I'd say its light years ahead of most contemporary fiction I've read- and one of the few I've actually had a hard time putting down- I decided to give it a super high rating :)
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Review 17 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Throwback to Better Emotion

Date:March 29, 2014
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GenuineWithdrawal
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recently I find that every book that comes into my mailbox is historical fiction. Which I find very wonderful, but this was a refreshing alternative. I sat down at my desk and read it from cover to cover, I laughed and I cried, and it was wonderful. The whole book was about food with every chapter beginning with a quote about food and ending with a recipe that goes over a food that was mentioned in the chapter. The recipes appear to be easy to make, which made me sad because Juliette made pasta from scratch and there was no recipe for that. That was easily the worst part of the book.
I really loved this book, something about the simplicity and elegance of the story just caught my attention. The whole family of characters in the book was beautiful. One of my friends is Italian and her family is so loud and happy and I got to feel that feeling of being a part of that kind of atmosphere. It is a very addictive feeling. Also, the characters are restaurant people and that was really interesting too. Fantastic. It was refreshing and inspired this warm cozy feeling that reminded me of reading on a cabin porch during the start of fall. At the very least, the sneak peak (the link is in the caption) is definitely worth a look. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. For more reviews check out my blog at genuinewithdrawal.blogspot.com
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Review 18 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Easy to relate to and full of delicious recipes

Date:March 27, 2014
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An Old Fashioned Girl
Location:Minnesota
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Hillary Manton Lodge writes a novel of family love and delectable recipes. Juliette D'Alisa, the youngest of five children in a French/Italian family, finds herself pulled in numerous directions. She has a good job in an enviable field, but her boss wants her to go in directions that fail to thrill her. One brother wants to open up a new restaurant with her as his partner, though a failed attempt in the past makes her hesitant. She wishes for romance, but she is not meeting anyone in Portland. She is stuck and unsure what to do. Amongst her recently deceased grandmother's belongings, Juliette discovers a photograph of a man - clearly a relative, by the family resemblance - but no one she has ever heard of. Sensitive to her family's loss, she stays quiet about the mystery photograph but begins to look into it on her own. Where will her grandmother's story lead? More importantly, what does Juliette truly want in life?
If one theme stands out more than any other (besides a love of food), it is family - wonderful, nosy, uplifting, exasperating, beloved, and imperfect as they are. Sibling dynamics play a huge role, and they are a dynamic bunch. Each has their own personality, but the author does a wonderful job balancing their individuality with the common ties that make them family. They might lose their temper or deliberately push each other's buttons, but in the next breath they forgive and turn to each other for comfort. Lodge nails what a family is about.
Many can connect with Juliette's place in life - slightly dissatisfied and lonely, needing a change yet afraid to leave the comfort of routine, directionless, discouraged by seemingly hopeless situations - nothing too major in and of itself, but there all the same keeping one from a truly fulfilling life. Who hasn't been in a place like that? I would take it a step further than the author and encourage one to be open to God's direction and ask for a change, a surprise, a gift of His love; who knows where it might lead?
It must be said, the recipes included would make the book worthwhile, even if the story was a flop (and I would disagree with that assessment). Even without pictures, they look mouthwatering. I confess before reading the book itself, I skimmed through and investigated the recipes found at chapter ends (only the recipes; I did not skim the story itself). Main dishes, beverages, and of course desserts are sprinkled throughout.
Contemporary romance is not my favorite genre, but the connections to the past and the very down-to-earth feel of the story made it an enjoyable read (not to mention the descriptions of food that left me salivating). I would not call it a spectacular or particularly profound work of fiction, but it is easy to relate to, and I look forward to finding out more about Mireille's secret past. It is a novel to appeal to lovers of food and the dramas of everyday life. 4 out of 5 stars
Thank you Blogging for Books for a free copy of the novel for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.
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Review 19 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a novel of heirloom recipes and family secrets

Date:March 27, 2014
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Marianne
Location:Wanham, Alberta
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I loved this book....I could not put it down and actually read it in one sitting. Yes, I am a fast reader, AND I let everything else go, grabbing just a bit to eat at times. And seeing that this book is about food, with some delicious recipes included, that snacking might have happened more than it should have.
I could tell from the story that Hillary loves to cook, and I want to try some of the foods she talked about. But even if you are not a person who loves to try new things in the kitchen, the story plot and characters are strong enough to keep you turning the pages.  This novel is about family dynamics, with Juliette as the youngest sibling in a close knit family unit. How each one in the family interacts with each other is fascinating to me. Witty, clever and charming are the words I would use to describe this novel. Do not miss out.
Hillary Manton Lodge is a new author to me, but I will be checking out her other books.
I received this book free from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishers through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
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Review 20 for A Table by the Window, Family Secrets & Heirloom Recipes Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A sweet story!

Date:March 27, 2014
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DavidsMom
Location:Louisiana
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a Christian Fiction about a woman raised by a French family and her grandmother had a pastry store. After her grandmother’s death, she is finding her way of dealing with the loss and stumbles over a picture in a kitchen piece she inherits. There is mystery as she tries to find out who is in the picture, while she tries to determine if she will go into business with her brother. She is also trying to find her place in life after being the “single” woman for so long. She has to face a relative with a serious illness and tries her hand at love.
Each chapter starts with a quote about food or chocolate, which I find cute. At the end of every chapter is a recipe, of course they are French related and some are complex, but recipes are always something I like to look at – a little extra given after finishing a chapter. This isn’t a normal book that I would had picked up to read, but I am glad I did. It was a good little getaway story that was enjoyable. I would had liked to had seen a few extra chapters at the end of the story to continue the ending, but it has a good ending that leaves you able to put the ending details together and leaves you thinking about the characters. This isn’t one of those Christian fiction books that shares verses or leaves a little lesson, the characters basically go to church. But it is a book that I would recommend for anyone that likes a good story! I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this honest review.
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