Book corner: we review a modern magical novel
The Secret Recipe for Second Chances by J. D. Barrett is an original supernatural fantasy. Perfect for a good weekend read.
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If you are fond of ‘things that go bump in the night’ you will be delighted with this romp through both the real world and the supernatural. The Australian author, J. D. Barrett allows her heroine Lucy Muir to slip into this 'other world’ and to become enveloped by it. So long as we can suspend belief this is a fun read.
The Ghost and Mrs Muir written by Josephine Leslie under the pseudonym R.A. Dick was one of the author’s favourite books. Many will remember the award winning TV series and later, the much loved film starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. This debut novel is quite different of course, but some of the same magic is here.
What’s the story?
The Secret Recipe for Second Chances begins with restauranteur Lucy Muir’s unpleasant marriage breakup, followed by her discovery of the nearly empty terrace that was formerly the famous Fortune Restaurant in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo.
Lucy is 'financially challenged' after walking away from the successful restaurants she ran with her philandering husband. But Lucy still decides to recreate Fortune as a pop-up bistro.
With the help of a strange ‘down and out’ man she meets, Lucy discovers the previous chef’s little red book containing all of his secret recipes.
Then miraculously she meets Frankie Summers, the famous chef himself, though - and here is where you have to suspend belief and just go with it - he’s in the form of a ghost! It was believed Frankie had suicided but the ghost Frankie insists this was not the case. It is a mystery to be solved.
Pat’s final word
If you can allow yourself to slip into ‘another world’ you will find, like Lucy, that this read can be overwhelmingly real. It is a joy discovering the many second chances found and taken by all of the weird and wonderful characters.
About the Author
J. D. Barrett has worked extensively on Australian Television as a writer and producer including The Story of Australia and Love My Way. She has a passion for cooking, as does her heroine. Her readers will be thrilled to try the exciting recipes scattered freely throughout the book.
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