One of England’s most noted chefs (two television shows, twelve cookbooks) offers up a delicious debut novel of love gone cold but then reheated.
Jane Chambers (an expert on marine insurance) wants to be the first woman partner in her stuffy London law firm, so she works long hours and travels extensively. She thinks she still loves husband Patrick, a former soldier she met while at Oxford, but Patrick talks of selling his trendy restaurant, called Jane’s, and buying a hotel in the country. He also wants children. Not keen on either country or kids, Jane moves out and heads to India on vacation, where Patrick seems a distant memory as she soon falls for Rajiv, a handsome tour guide and Sanskrit scholar. Infatuated, she persuades Rajiv to come to England and live with her. Meanwhile, Patrick is having business problems: though Jane’s was awarded two Michelin stars, the London restaurant business is tough and the public fickle. So, naturally, when he meets luscious American food columnist Stella, he’s easily persuaded to sell out and buy a new place. Stella is also an exciting lover, instantly bewitching Patrick, but she’s untrustworthy and horribly extravagant, soon getting Patrick into even deeper debt with the new restaurant. Jane, too, is having problems: Rajiv is unhappy in England, and though Jane has been made a partner, somehow it doesn’t mean as much as she’d expected. When Rajiv heads back to India, Jane decides to move to the country and join a smaller but more congenial law firm. Patrick, betrayed by Stella, has to sell the restaurant and decides to buy a pub—in the country. . . .
Diverting light fare that entertains agreeably.