The Knackered Parents' Book Club reviews 'The Sunday Lunch Club' by Juliet Ashton

Well look at us....Book number six! Is it too soon to use words like 'established' and talk fondly about when the book club was merely a dream we once had that we would do normal things again and have more to talk about than how many children our sons have bitten at soft play this week.....

Yes, perhaps it is, but nevertheless, six months have gone by and we are well into the swing of this reading lark*.

Our latest book, The Sunday Lunch Club, explores family bonds, as Anna Piper and her extended family meet for lunch every few Sundays. Anna is a divorced, forty year old, single woman and we follow her story as she grapples with secrets from her past, while her present becomes increasingly complicated.

Overall we enjoyed reading the book, some of the characterisation was really well done and there were moments that were truly funny. One of our favourite moments was when the family were having lunch at Anna's gay brother's house and his husband Santi. A Catholic priest, his and his hand towels and a homoerotic painting make for a pretty hilarious combo....

Despite some funny and touching moments it was agreed that the book needed fleshing out. There were a lot of holes in the plot, convenient tying up of ends and some characters weren't developed at all. The relationship between Dinki, the matriarchal Irish grandmother and Sheba, her care worker, was not developed and we felt unconvincing as a result.

Were there shortcomings? Yes. But did I both laugh and cry? Yes. I think that pretty much sums up family relationships. I came away feeling lucky

for having the people in my life that I do. Stick by the people you love. Be more tolerant. Be more understanding. NEVER invite people to lunch and give them a jacket potato with no filling!

*I have never used this word before; it felt right.

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