My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Full of heart and delicious food, this is a delightful contemporary fiction story for foodies and fans of reality TV who appreciate a bit of bite with their tales of friendship and middle age.
Thanks to Gallery Books for providing me with a finished copy of this title for review purposes.
Book Description (from Goodreads)
Set between the hip and idyllic farm-to-table foodie communities of the Hudson Valley, and the hotspots of Brooklyn, the Hamptons, and Manhattan, The Second Course follows four old friends struggling to find their footing in a rapidly changing world.
Food has always been Billy’s language and her currency, but she isn’t hungry anymore—and it’s terrifying her. That is, until she attends a wedding and meets chef Ethan—an enigmatic powerhouse half her age. Billy is sure her life will never be the same, and she’s right: she soon finds herself moving upstate to restart her culinary career with Ethan as her business partner—trading New York nightlife for hikes and foraging in the peaceful Hudson Valley.
Back in the city, her three best friends, Lucy, Sarah, and Lotta each harbor secrets that threaten to tear their lives apart. Tensions are rising between the four women, and it will take one tragedy—and more than a few glasses of wine—for them to remember why they became friends in the first place.
I’ll be honest here – I requested this title from Gallery 100% based on the gorgeous cover alone, and then the foodie/friendship description sealed it for me. I’m not a RHW watcher and hadn’t heard of the author, which made for a great cold-read. I ended up really, really enjoying this book of food, friendship, and real relationships for a group of women in their 40s, with the restaurant and cooking storylines being absolutely delectable. The characters are sometimes otherworldly in their glitz and glamour, but are always brought back to earth with instances of the nitty gritty of real life, and Killoren manages to portray even reality star Sarah with relatable qualities. The Hudson Valley setting for the majority of the book is cozy, with the descriptions of Billy’s house and Kingston making me want to travel there immediately – the sense of place is perfection.
Highly recommended for foodies fans of contemporary fiction – this book will make you hungry for some serious homestyle cooking and eager to call your best friend!