Title // Love, Lies & Linguine
Author // Hilary Spiers
Publication Month // February 2017
Publisher // Allen & Unwin
Australian RRP // $29.99 AUD
Genre // Fiction
Hester and Harriet lead comfortable lives in a pretty cottage in an English village. Having opened their minds, home and hearts to Daria, a mysterious migrant, and her baby son Milo, the widowed sisters decide to further expand their own horizons by venturing forth to Italy for their annual holiday.
Back in England, Daria and Milo are celebrating – they’ve received official refugee status with papers to confirm they can make England their home. Meanwhile nephew Ben, who knows only too well how much he owes his aunts, is hurtling towards a different sort of celebration – one he’s trying to backpedal out of as fast as he possibly can.
With a huge secret hanging between the sisters, an unlikely new love on the landscape for Hester and new beginnings also beckoning for Harriet, Italy provides more opportunities for adventure than either of them could ever have imagined. But which ones will Hester and Harriet choose?
As Hester and Harriet throw all their cards on the table in Italy, and potential catastrophe threatens Ben in England, it’s anyone’s guess how chaos will be kept at bay.
Love, Lies & Linguine is the second book by Hilary Spiers to feature Hester and Harriet, elderly, widowed sisters who live in a cottage in an English village. In this second instalment of their story, Hester and Harriet have ventured to Italy for a holiday, their resort boasting a number of activities, including cooking classes and watercolour painting. There are new faces, friends and potential love interests, and all the complications that follow.
Back home, Hester and Harriet’s nephew, Ben, is caught up in complications of his own as he finds himself suddenly caught up in party preparations to be thrown at his aunts’ cottage without their knowledge or permission.
I was sent this book for review by Allen & Unwin, and it’s not a book I would have picked up on my own, but I’m always up for a challenge and to try things that I might not otherwise try. Love, Lies & Linguine is probably not a book that I’m overly interested or invested in, however, wearing my critiquing hat on, it’s a great story. Hilary Spiers slowly unravels the truths of these characters through small life moments. The story unfolds slowly, but methodically, in a manner that feels real and true to life.
Hester and Harriet’s tumultuous relationship, while built on love, has a habit of being thrown for a loop because of misunderstandings and miscommunication. It’s very believable, because it highlights that even though you’re family, you’re capable of making mistakes – and redeeming yourself in the eyes of loved ones.
Ben’s story was just a train wreck waiting to happen; I was on edge the whole time thinking ‘No, don’t do it!’ It highlights the pervasiveness of peer pressure and the desire to fit in and be seen and noticed on teenagers and while Ben made plenty of poor decisions, there was a strong desire to feel sorry for him.
Overall I gave Love, Lies & Linguine 3 out of 5 stars. It was a solid, character-driven story.