Title: The Sandycove Supper Club
Author: Siân O’Gorman
Published on: 20 July 2022
Genre: General Fiction | Women’s Fiction
Roisin Kelly met Brody Brady at her friend Richard’s Christmas party. Roisin, Jools and Brody were the only non-accountants at the party. Roisin and Brody started chatting and realized they have a lot in common. After a whirlwind courtship (for six months), Roisin and Brody got married.
Roisin’s mother, friends and sister were not quite happy with her decision to marry Brody. They thought she was hurrying to tie knot with a man she knew for just six months. But Roisin knew she and Brody were a match made in heaven. When they first met, Brody was a columnist at a newspaper and was commissioned to write a novel. Brody was to start writing it soon after honeymoon.
Fast forward to the present, it’s been a year since they got married and the honeymoon phase fizzled out sooner than Roisin expected. Brody spends most of his time in his study, writing the novel while Roisin works (she’s the only breadwinner in the family), goes to all family gatherings alone, cooks for Brody and cleans up after him.
She cannot discuss her non-existent ‘happy married’ life with her friends or family. She’s afraid they might say ‘I told you so’. She has her admin job at the Sandycove council but her true passion is cooking.
Her friend Richard is tired of earning more than he can spend – well, all he does is travel, attend meetings, repeat. No personal life at all. He and Jools suggest a charity supper club where Roisin would do all the cooking. Roisin is reluctant to accept the invite – what if her cooking is not all that good? Brody doesn’t have anything positive to say about her cooking. So what if others too follow the same suit?
Her boss goes on a vacation leaving her in charge of a council development decision. Lady Immaculate Hall is slowly crumbling to ruins. The decision to demolish it and build a brand new property is stalled – while many developers were ready to convert it into one of their dream projects, the locals did not want the building demolished as the Hall was being used as a kitchen and dining place for old and homeless.
Roisin’s love for cooking draws her towards the kitchens of the Lady Immaculate Hall. The Supper Club will be open for three Saturdays. Brody’s submission deadline is close by and he’s more anxious than ever – and he takes his frustration out on Roisin’s cooking and her attempts to make any conversations with him.
The Sandycove Supper Club by Siân O’Gorman is a charming, heart-warming and touching story. We have Roisin as our main character. She’s had a pretty okay childhood – except for the trauma of her dad leaving her and her sister Shona for another woman. The girls grew up knowing they didn’t want to end up with a man who might be a reflection of their estranged father. But months after marrying Roisin, she doubts if she made a mistake.
As the story proceeds, we see Roisin and Brody drifting apart. Roisin tries her best to compromise but Brody makes things worse at her every attempt. She finds a friend in her next-door neighbor Harry. Harry is an old man and after his wife’s death, he lost interest in cooking. He tells Roisin he was a cook at Merchant Navy and he did most of the cooking at home – and his wife adored his cooking. She died almost two years ago and since then, Harry’s lost interest in cooking and survives on canned soup and beans.
As Roisin strikes a chord with Harry, she helps him with cleaning and also gives him a few cookbooks so that he can continue his passion for cooking. At the same time, Roisin too finds herself pursing her passion for cooking, helping people and entertaining family and friends.
Throughout the story, we see Roisin face challenges. If things at home (with Brody) are deteriorating, the workplace bullying is also increasing at a significant rate. Saoirse, her colleague, has nothing but negative comments about her cooking. She thinks Roisin brings cake to office as she’s trying to manipulate them – something to do with passive-aggressive thingummy. Then, when the Supper Club is open, she creates a scene at the venue and at the office the next day.
The only thing that keeps Roisin from plunging into the dark abyss of depression and dejection are her friends and cooking. Roisin and her friend Jools’ brother had a ‘friends with benefits’ relation. Jools was unaware of this. They ‘broke up’ when Paddy went to Denmark. He’s back now and helps Richard, Sam, Jools and Roisin in setting up their Supper Club. Meeting him brings back memories of all the good times Roisin had when they were together. But it is too late to rekindle those feelings – Roisin doesn’t know if Paddy loved her too. If he had, he wouldn’t have left for Denmark.
This book was so good that I knew I had to read it in one sitting. Excellent storytelling – I cannot wait to catch up with Siân’s other books. I absolutely loved her writing. Likeable characters and excellent character development. The story makes you reflect on life – the decisions that went sideways and how you coped with it.
If you believe in second chances – not only at finding love but also at following your dearest desire/passion – you must give this book a read.
The Sandycove Supper Club by Siân O’Gorman is a heart-warming, delightful, delicious (Roisin’s mouth-watering dishes!), charming and completely engrossing read. The Sandycove Supper Club has already made its way to my best reads of 2022. 🙂
Many thanks to Boldwood Books and Netgalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.