The Secret Supper Club
By Dana Bate
Constable & Robinson – £6.99
This is perhaps the third book I have read of late, that comes replete with recipes towards the back. The first time this was the case; it was something of a novelty, now it’s just plain boring. So no more please, it’s absolutely not necessary.
That said, the English edition of The Secret Supper Club (originally entitled The Girls Guide to Love and Supper Clubs in the US, which is a tad pants methinks) is almost definitely a women’s book. The fundamental reason being, it contains loadsa hissing’n’backbiting. It’s also something of a foodie-induced publication as, along with the aforementioned recipes, authoress Dana Bate makes oodles of references to food throughout.
So, ye plot: Hannah Sugerman is the only child of esteemed Economics professors Alan and Judy, who ultimately govern her life. As such, she (mistakenly?) casts her own desires to become a chef/cook aside, in order to keep her parents happy. This she does by working for a think tank department called the Institute for Research and Discourse in Washington D.C.
Following the break up of her relatively short, but first real romantic involvement:
‘’This is who I am, Adam. This is the full package right here. Take it or leave it.’’
Adam wipes the water off his face with a flick of his hand. ‘’I’ll leave it.’’
His declaration – so firm and unequivocal – sucks the air out of the room, and whatever chutzpah I conjured up moments ago vanishes. The words rattle around my brain until a hollow ringing in my ears drowns them out.
This is not how this was supposed to go. When I said Take it or leave it, I didn’t really mean Adam Prescott, you can either (a) Take it, or (b) Leave it. Takeitorleaveit. It’s an expression. The correct choice is implied, like in Eddie Izzard’s ‘’Cake or Death?’’ routine.’’’’
she strives to assert herself by pursuing her (guess what?) culinary passion.
This she does with a work colleague and friend by the name of Rachel, and what follows is a story that is so obviously heading for the proverbial car crash, that one wants to scream out the word STOP to the two prime characters involved.
The Secret Supper Club contains just enough fun and romance, gasps and bitching, to keep the laydeez happy for its duration of 469 pages. It’s akin to the naughty cream cheese frosting on her carrot cake: tasty without being too saccharine.