A Family Recipe by Veronica Henry @orionbooks @veronica_henry #Q&A

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Book Description:

What’s the secret ingredient to your happiness?

Laura Griffin is preparing for an empty nest. The thought of Number 11 Lark Hill falling silent – a home usually bustling with noise, people and the fragrant smells of something cooking on the Aga – seems impossible. Laura hopes it will mean more time for herself, and more time with her husband, Dom.

But when an exposed secret shakes their marriage, Laura suddenly feels as though her family is shrinking around her. Feeling lost, she turns to her greatest comfort: her grandmother’s recipe box, a treasured collection dating back to the Second World War. Everyone has always adored Laura’s jams and chutneys, piled their sandwiches high with her pickles . . . Inspired by a bit of the old Blitz spirit, Laura has an idea that gives her a fresh sense of purpose.

Full of fierce determination, Laura starts carving her own path. But even the bravest woman needs the people who love her. And now, they need her in return . . .

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My Thoughts:

What a wonderfully heart melting read!

11 Lark Hill has been in the family for quite a few generations. It’s great to see a house with so much history stay with in the family and I could very much feel the love within those walls. Sadly Laura and her husband Dom seem to be going through some difficulties but I think it reminds us of how much we can take the other one for granted.

Laura and her grandmother Kanga (Jilly) were my favourite characters. We get to know Kanga better in chapters that take us back to the war and I really admired her determination and out look on life. I’m sure everyone would love the friendship that her and Ivy have as they really do show what the true meaning of it is. Laura is someone that has probably always lent on others and hasn’t had to really stand on her own two feet before. I loved how she pulls herself together though and surprises the people around her.

A Family Recipe had all the perfect and wholesome ingredients for me. It’s like a good old fashioned stew and dumplings or a delicious treacle sponge and custard pudding. Something that will warm you to the very core of which you want to savour every delicious moment. A story that will warm the cockles of your heart and will remind us that whatever life throws our way, you can handle it.

My thanks to Orion and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

A Family Recipe is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).

What’s your favourite family recipe?
Oh gosh that is a difficult question! We’ve got so many family favourites (fish pie; tarte tatin; toad in the hole)
but the current leader is crab linguine – I have three sons and they all love it. There’s something about going down to the harbour in Ilfracombe to buy a dressed crab, then coming home, putting on some summery music and throwing it all together that makes it a ritual. I just heat it up with garlic, lemon zest, chilli, olive oil and flat leaf parsley and pile it all onto the linguine. It works every time!
What’s your signature dish?
I think cassoulet. I had a recipe that I got from Good Housekeeping about twenty years ago, but sort of do it from memory and have added my own twists. It’s a deadly mixture of slow-cooked duck legs, belly pork and Toulouse sausages mixed into a tomato-based sauce and cannellini beans, then topped with garlicky breadcrumbs. You can’t move for at least a week afterwards. But it’s one of those one-pot dishes that everyone loves. I do serve a green salad on the side ….
Have you had any culinary disasters?
All the time! It’s what makes you a decent cook in the end, making mistakes. Only yesterday I made some scones, which I hadn’t made for years, and they turned out like biscuits. You have to figure out where you went wrong and then have another go. I was expecting beautifully risen and I got rock hard … I overhanded the dough and used too small a cutter. Next time!
Do you ever base your characters on real people?
Not really. I might get inspiration from someone’s situation or a character trait, but real people don’t fit into fiction somehow. Your characters have to have a personality of their own, and go through a percolating process: part inspiration, part imagination, part magic, that makes them unique. And the other characters in your book will affect how they behave too. People do, however, think they see themselves in your books all the time. ‘Is that so-and-so?’ I get asked, and it never is.
Do you ever find yourself getting emotional whilst writing certain parts in a book?
Yes. Not just the sad bits. I get more emotional about the happy bits, or the poignant bits. After all, if I can’t make myself feel, then my readers won’t. You have to take them on an emotional journey, and there has to be light and shade. It’s always the little moments that are the most gut wrenching, that make you take a sharp breath. That’s when I know the story is true to itself, and is real.

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