This kind of review is why writers stick with it. Thanks, Puppitypup.
5.0 out of 5 starsFiction/Romance –
So Much Deeper than I Expected
The Lost Recipe for Happiness.
I was blown away by this novel. Somehow I was expecting lighthearted, chick-lit fluff.
What I got was story that broke my heart and stole my breath and brought tears to my eyes.
Ms. O’Neal has a gift for describing the nuance of a moment, making the novel so real that it hurts. This is a book I will not soon forget.
It is a sensual novel, one that will hold great appeal for anyone who loves to cook. The spice and texture and taste of Elena’s creations fairly jump off the page.
Ms. O’Neal also brought that elusive ingredient, without which I will never give 5 stars. An underlying sense of yearning was so well interwoven, like a mournful harmony, never quite resolving.
She managed to convey the neverending grief and guilt of being a survivor, as Elena struggles to give up the ghosts of her past. This aspect of the novel is so well written, just stunning. I have the utmust respect for Ms. O’Neal. This is my first read by her, it will not be my last.
I give this novel my highest recommendation, it isn’t a traditional romance. Here we have two middle-age characters, mourning the loss of a dream, considering their yearning for a soulmate to be a childish, unrealistic expectation.
Elena tiptoes through her relationship with Julian, trying to be okay with knowing true love is an illusion, that it won’t last. But, dear friends, I promise you will find this worth the read, hope does prevail.
The novel has one bad word used fairly often through certain parts of the book, and there are maybe three detailed intimate scenes.