Lucy Muir is leaving her husband. It’s complicated.
As joint owners and chefs at one of the best restaurants in town, making a clean break is tough. But let’s face it, a woman can only take so much cheating, recipe stealing and lack of good grace.
Then Lucy happens upon an old, empty building that was once the city’s hottest restaurant: Fortune. One minute she’s peering through grimy Windows into an abandoned space, the next she planning a pop-up bistro.
When Lucy fires up Fortune’s old kitchen, she discovers a little red recipe book that belonged to the former chef, the infamous Frankie Summers. As Lucy cooks her way through Frankie’s recipes, customers come flocking and slowly Lucy begins to regain her confidence. It turns out that courage, passion and just a tiny bit of magic might be the secret recipe for a second chance at happiness ……..
A story like no other – if only there were more books like this one.
This story is chick lit combined with mystery, it follows Lucy as she begins a new era in her life and revives a run down restaurant on a whim after leaving her husband. What makes this story so different from others is that one of the main characters is a ghost , the ghost of Frankie Summers. Frankie comes with the restaurant Fortune which he used to own and helps Lucy to get Fortune up and running again on the condition that Lucy helps Frankie discover who murdered him. Lucy and Frankie then reminded me of a programme I used to watch when I was little- Randall and Hopkirk deceased. As the story unfolded, Lucy and Frankie also reminded me of Sam and Oda Mae from Ghost, due to Frankie using Lucy to communicate messages to others. I especially loved how recipes from the menu at Fortune featured in the book, I felt inspired by these and will definitely make some of them.My favourite recipe has to be the Scones with Strawberry Jam and Clotted cream because the whole recipe seems so foolproof that I’m sure I will easily be able to make them. These recipes also allowed me to be able to visualise the story more. The passion that goes into reviving Fortune is so strong, it makes the characters really come to life.
The characters made this story so fascinating. Lucy initially came across as adventurous by starting up Fortune by herself but then she shows a different side of herself, she lacks in self esteem and confidence but she soon gets a spring back in her step when Frankie steps into help. I imagined Lucy as Sophie from Mama Mia , the similarities in upbringing are uncanny, like Sophie, Lucy does not know who her father is and her mum is a hippy.
Frankie is like a god ,a saviour- he helps Lucy come out her shell and achieve great things although at times when Frankie’s past was delved into, he reminded me very much of Lucy’s ex husband Leith – a womaniser with no heart. I pictured Paul Hollywood when I read about Frankie.
Lucy’s mum used to be wild in her younger days but seems to have burned herself out and let herself go but the magic of Fortune reignites the spark in her and we see a more caring side to her.
Earlier on in the story, Lucy is asking the reader (me) if you know the feeling when you realise you have dissociated to the point of being outside your body and looking in , after her first meeting with Frankie and she goes on to say something that I really could relate to, she says ” Probably not, you’re probably sane and married to your first boyfriend and living in the house you brought from your grand-parents just around the corner from the one your parents live in.”
This part of the book was uncanny as I am married to my first boyfriend , living in my grand-parents house just around the corner from my parents, I felt like this book was meant for me !!
I absolutely loved this book, I would read it at every moment I could and finished it in 5 days. It gave me a powerful insight into quantum physics and afterlife , it really made me stop and think. This is a story that will stay with me forever, one that I will highly recommend and rave about to everyone. This book made me remember why I love reading so much.
Thanks to Beth Wright at Piatkus books for sending me this book.