Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Secret Supper Club

The Secret Supper Club by Dana Bate

Paperback, 480 pages

Expected publication: 6th December 2012 by Canvas

My shelves: adult-fiction, chick-lit, contemporary, read, read-in-2012, realistic-fiction
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

If twenty-six-year-old Hannah Sugarman had her way, she'd be whipping up carrot cakes and running her culinary empire. Instead, she spends her hours cooking up papers on the financial crisis. It doesn't help that no one in her life takes her passion seriously - not even her boyfriend. 

When her relationship implodes, Hannah decides to jump-start her life by hosting a secret supper club out of her landlord's flat. Her underground operation presents some problems. Running an unlicensed restaurant out of someone's home is not, technically speaking, legal. 

As the success of Hannah's supper club grows, so do the number of secrets she is forced to keep. Can Hannah keep her pop-up restaurant underground? When mysterious guests turn up for dinner, can she handle the heat? Or will she have to step out of the kitchen? A charming romantic comedy, The Secret Supper Club is a story about finding yourself, fulfilling your dreams, and falling in love along the way.

The Secret Supper Club (published as The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs in the USA) is Dana Bate's debut novel. I hadn't read any reviews of this book before I picked it up myself, but I didn't hesitate to accept it for review, the story sounded entertaining and easy to read, which it was.

This is a chick-lit book and will most probably appeal to all chick-lit lovers out there, with a good sense of realism, strong characters and a good dose of romance! From the title of this book, you can tell it's about a Secret Supper Club - something I didn't even know existed before picking this up! If you're a fan of cooking, this should certainly appeal to you. I personally don't cook, but still found the food aspect of this book to be interesting and with the growing UK popularity of cookery programmes, I'd imagine that this will be a huge hit for foodies who want to read some light fiction!

Although a Secret Supper Club and cookery is the main theme of this book, it's certainly not overwhelming - it's balanced out with other aspects of, our main character, Hannah's life, from her difficult work situation to her relationships. Overall, I thought that the book was balanced well but I must admit that I did become a little bored when Hannah's job was the main focus and because of this, I felt the book dragging quite a bit - simply because I wasn't interested in her job or the logistics surrounding it, it was rather mundane. I liked reading about the organisation of the Supper Clubs and the 'mystery' surrounding them (Who would turn up? Would all go to plan?) and I found myself wanting to rush through parts just to get to read about another Supper Club dinner!

I really liked Hannah and reading about her friendships and relationships. Hannah felt like such a genuine person, so real and easy to connect to. I wasn't expecting so many smiles from this book, but her attitude made me laugh quite a few times - she really felt like an awesome person to 'know'. The highlight of this book for me was reading about her relationships with Joshua and Blake, but Blake in particular as we discovered how opposed he is to Supper Clubs! As Hannah felt so real, it wasn't difficult to sympathise with her, worry with her and be happy with her too. The other characters we are introduced to are also very well developed and tangible.

I thought that the idea of this book was a good one and though sometimes a little silly (in a good way!) at times, it did seem realistic for the most part. Hannah really made this book a hit for me and her strange situations made me smile. I enjoyed reading about Hannah and her relationships most of all. If you're a bit of a 'foodie', I think you'd enjoy this even more than I did - there is even bonus material including recipes from the book! If you just like watching the odd cookery programme, I'm sure you'll enjoy this too. For a reasonably quick and easy read, this is recommended. 

Come back to Stepping Out of the Page on 5th December for an exclusive guest post from the author of this book, Dana Bate!


  1. The story sounds good but like you need to be on the mood for Chick Lit to enjoy the book.
    Thanks for the review. I hadn't heard of this book before.

  2. I like this a lot. Thank you for sharing. I'm always looking for upcycles like this. In the end, you don't know it was a shipping pallet to begin with!

  3. Very nice, I was very pleased, great to expression.


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