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The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship

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New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her peo New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her people. Recently dumped by her self-absorbed husband, who frankly isn’t much of a loss, she has little to show for her marriage but his ‘parting gift’—a dilapidated old farm house—and a collection of well-loved cookbooks Aja Alexander just hopes her new-found friends won’t notice that that every time she looks at food, she gets queasy. It’s hard hiding a pregnancy, especially one she can’t bring herself to share with her wealthy boyfriend and his snooty mother.  Trista Walker left the cutthroat world of the law behind and decided her fate was to open a restaurant…not the most secure choice ever. But there she could she indulge her passion for creating delectable meals and make money at the same time. The women bond immediately, but it’s not all popovers with melted brie and blackberry jam.  Margo’s farm house is about to fall down around her ears; Trista’s restaurant needs a makeover and rat-removal fast; and as for Aja, just how long can you hide a baby bump anyway? In this delightful novel, these women form bonds that go beyond a love grilled garlic and soy sauce shrimp. Because what is more important in life than friendship…and food?


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New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her peo New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming--and delicious--story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook. MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert! Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her people. Recently dumped by her self-absorbed husband, who frankly isn’t much of a loss, she has little to show for her marriage but his ‘parting gift’—a dilapidated old farm house—and a collection of well-loved cookbooks Aja Alexander just hopes her new-found friends won’t notice that that every time she looks at food, she gets queasy. It’s hard hiding a pregnancy, especially one she can’t bring herself to share with her wealthy boyfriend and his snooty mother.  Trista Walker left the cutthroat world of the law behind and decided her fate was to open a restaurant…not the most secure choice ever. But there she could she indulge her passion for creating delectable meals and make money at the same time. The women bond immediately, but it’s not all popovers with melted brie and blackberry jam.  Margo’s farm house is about to fall down around her ears; Trista’s restaurant needs a makeover and rat-removal fast; and as for Aja, just how long can you hide a baby bump anyway? In this delightful novel, these women form bonds that go beyond a love grilled garlic and soy sauce shrimp. Because what is more important in life than friendship…and food?

30 review for The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison is a women’s fiction title about three very different women who come together and find they do have things in common. The point of view in the story will of course change the during the course of the book. The story all starts with Trista Walker who has decided to leave her demanding job at a prestigious law firm and open her own restaurant. Trista wants to do something new, something different, but with so many ways to go she decides she wants to test some and The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison is a women’s fiction title about three very different women who come together and find they do have things in common. The point of view in the story will of course change the during the course of the book. The story all starts with Trista Walker who has decided to leave her demanding job at a prestigious law firm and open her own restaurant. Trista wants to do something new, something different, but with so many ways to go she decides she wants to test some and puts out an ad for others to join her and test out recipes, thus the Cookbook Club is created. Margo Everson decides to answer the ad when she sees it being at a place in her life she needs something new. Margo’s husband had asked for a divorce and left her with a rundown house and a lot of cookbooks so why not take up the club as a hobby? Aja Alexander answers the ad looking for something to take her mind off of her relationship and the fact she has a secret that she isn’t sure what to do about. The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison was a book that gained my interest quickly and had me engaged as I wondered what would happen with these three very different characters. As the three ladies came together in the book you learn all about them and different their lives were but in many ways much the same. It was great watching the friendships unfold and the growth of the characters that came in the story as it went on. Of course there is some food talk in the book but it didn’t overpower the character growth or their journeys. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie B

    3.5 stars I liked the book but I think a little more could have been done in terms of both plot and character development. Full review coming soon.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    This charming book hooked me from the start. I loved the author’s confident writing style and engaging narrative about three women with personal crises who bond over cooking. Trista, a fired attorney, starts a cookbook club to test recipes for the bar she’s bought. Margo, just dumped by her husband, joins the club to indulge her love of cooking and to make friends. Aja discovers she’s pregnant with her rich boyfriend’s baby. His mother is highly judgmental and he’s never talked about commitment. C This charming book hooked me from the start. I loved the author’s confident writing style and engaging narrative about three women with personal crises who bond over cooking. Trista, a fired attorney, starts a cookbook club to test recipes for the bar she’s bought. Margo, just dumped by her husband, joins the club to indulge her love of cooking and to make friends. Aja discovers she’s pregnant with her rich boyfriend’s baby. His mother is highly judgmental and he’s never talked about commitment. Cooking, of course, plays a huge role, with mouthwatering meals devoured throughout and even a recipe section at the end. I saw it as a metaphor for growth, by taking what you know (old recipes) and adding new spices and fresh ingredients for a more sumptuous taste. Renovation plays a role, too, as Trista’s bar and Margo’s old farm get amazing redos. Both reflect the depth of change each woman undergoes. I felt part of the club, rooting for each woman, wanting happy endings for all. Alas, the dénouement seemed too abrupt for me. Only Margo’s new life was explored to any extent, leaving me wanting so much more. Sequel? I sure hope so! 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 20 Oct 2020 Thanks to the author, HarperCollins Publishers, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine. #TheCookbookClub #NetGalley

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    The Cookbook Club is a fun light read about 3 women who started out as strangers but became friends when they formed a cookbook club. Each month they meet and cook recipes from a selected cookbook. Over the course of a month, we hear from their alternating perspectives as they deal with what is going on in their lives. Margo is shocked when her husband announces that he is moving to California and wants a divorce. Trista was fired from the law firm she worked at and starts running her own restau The Cookbook Club is a fun light read about 3 women who started out as strangers but became friends when they formed a cookbook club. Each month they meet and cook recipes from a selected cookbook. Over the course of a month, we hear from their alternating perspectives as they deal with what is going on in their lives. Margo is shocked when her husband announces that he is moving to California and wants a divorce. Trista was fired from the law firm she worked at and starts running her own restaurant. Aja is dating a man who doesn't treat her right. These 3 women find common ground and in turn learn how to make their own way in the world with the support of their new friends. I love food related books so loved all of the descriptions of food throughout. This was a stress free read which was a good break from some of the other heavier books that I've been reading lately. I won a copy of this book in a goodreads giveaway! Thank you to the publisher!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kendra Choy

    Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my review and honest opinion. When seeing the title of this book, I knew I wanted to read it immediately! The story of 3 women who are all at crossroads in their lives. Margo, whose husband leaves her unexpectedly and is reeling from a divorce. Aja, a young woman who finds herself accidentally pregnant with a baby and wants nothing to do with the father. Margo, a woman who leaves her career in law and decides to open a bar. The women Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my review and honest opinion. When seeing the title of this book, I knew I wanted to read it immediately! The story of 3 women who are all at crossroads in their lives. Margo, whose husband leaves her unexpectedly and is reeling from a divorce. Aja, a young woman who finds herself accidentally pregnant with a baby and wants nothing to do with the father. Margo, a woman who leaves her career in law and decides to open a bar. The women meet after Margo starts a Cookbook Club and instantly become friends. While the premise of the story had me captivated, the story itself was a little bit flat. The biggest issue I had was that author made such an emphasis on the cooking, that while it did have some to do with the ending, it was really only a vehicle for the women to meet. I also felt like there was a lot in the story that really ended up not being needed. Some characters that made appearances, then weren't really needed for their stories to come full circle. I also really disliked the ending. It seemed like one event happened then boom! The book was done and some of the stories didn't really have a nice "wrap up" to them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    3.5 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This is a fun piece of fluff that is a somewhat enjoyable read. It centers around three women, all facing different difficulties, who bond over their love of food. Trista left her life as a lawyer behind (we never find out why) and buys the bar/restaurant she worked at while in law school. It needs a big makeover if she's ever going to earn a living from it. Margo is a part-time real estate agent who loves to cook and has recently 3.5 stars You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books. This is a fun piece of fluff that is a somewhat enjoyable read. It centers around three women, all facing different difficulties, who bond over their love of food. Trista left her life as a lawyer behind (we never find out why) and buys the bar/restaurant she worked at while in law school. It needs a big makeover if she's ever going to earn a living from it. Margo is a part-time real estate agent who loves to cook and has recently been dumped by her self-absorbed husband. While it's a blessing in disguise, she must navigate finding a career to support herself with renovating a run-down farm she inherited in the divorce. Aja wants to learn to cook better and is looking for good friends who will support her through an unplanned pregnancy. The characters are fairly well-developed, but the storylines are pretty predictable. The women are all wronged in some way and rather than being bitter and angry and cry-eating gallons of ice cream, they firmly soldier on alone with quiet resolve. That's pretty unrealistic, but it's nice to dream that we would all be that strong as our life falls to pieces around us. Of course, two of the women immediately have budding romances with their dream-men who are patient and kind and have secretly been in love with the women for ages. Overall, it's a cute, fun book to read. It's a nice palate cleanser to read after more intense books, and there is nothing wrong with that. I enjoy these kind of books from time to time. It's an enjoyable read, just not very deep and nothing that you'll remember a month from now.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    I have no idea why I stayed up all night reading this fluffy chick lit, but it was enjoyable. The literary equivalent of comfort food, which is appropriate, given how much food and cooking is in the book. Additionally, it's a sweet story of female friendship, female empowerment, and a hint of romance. While I wouldn't describe this as a comic novel, there was some nice humor. Everything about reading this was just effortless, entertaining, and designed to make you feel good. Final surprise bonus I have no idea why I stayed up all night reading this fluffy chick lit, but it was enjoyable. The literary equivalent of comfort food, which is appropriate, given how much food and cooking is in the book. Additionally, it's a sweet story of female friendship, female empowerment, and a hint of romance. While I wouldn't describe this as a comic novel, there was some nice humor. Everything about reading this was just effortless, entertaining, and designed to make you feel good. Final surprise bonus: It takes place in the part of Maryland that I'm originally from. Lots of local references. All in all, not a bad way to spend a sleepless night.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Leone-campbell

    The Cookbook Club chronicles the evolution of three women who accidently meet as they are all braving different heartbreaks in their lives. They not only grow stronger but they become each other’s champions and emerge with strength, resilience and lasting friendships. It all started when Trista Walker put an ad on instagram looking for people to come to her house and try cookbook recipes. The only catch was they must come with a cooked dish from a cookbook. Two women joined Trista that first nigh The Cookbook Club chronicles the evolution of three women who accidently meet as they are all braving different heartbreaks in their lives. They not only grow stronger but they become each other’s champions and emerge with strength, resilience and lasting friendships. It all started when Trista Walker put an ad on instagram looking for people to come to her house and try cookbook recipes. The only catch was they must come with a cooked dish from a cookbook. Two women joined Trista that first night. Margo, whose husband recently came home and after complaining about her cooking told Margo he was taking a job in San Francisco but without her. He wanted a divorce. Although she was not totally heartbroken that he had left her, Margo became depressed at the thought that she had wasted so many years of her life catering to a man who could not appreciate her. Plus the fact she had no idea what to do next in life as her world had revolved around him for so many years. Her one claim to fame was a cooking class on YouTube she had started to help her parents and their friends who all lived in a senior housing complex cook healthier meals. She had 35 subscribers. And her soon to be ex-husband had dropped a dilapidated farmhouse on her as part of their divorce settlement. She now needed to find someone to help fix the rundown eyesore up. Margo goes to the first Cookbook club meeting more for companionship than anything else. Aja Alexander is self sufficient and able to take care of herself. Although young, she maintains a few jobs in order to keep her independence. She is in a relationship with a man named Michael who is from old money. Not quite sure how to categorize their relationship, as they have been dating for a while and she has yet to met his mother, whom Michael has told her is very overbearing. She sometimes feels as if she is walking on eggshells around him, always afraid she will say something wrong to anger him. Aja goes to the first Cookbook club meeting because lately she has been starving and this group sounds like a great place to eat. Trista Walker worked at a prestigious law firm. Until she didn’t. Not sure what she wanted to do with her life next, when a bar she frequented for years goes up for sale, she decides to buy it and create a different type of restaurant. With so many ideas on the type of food she wants to create, she decides she wants people to taste her creations and give honest opinions. Thus the Cookbook club. What Trista does not realize is that it takes more than cooking ideas start a restaurant. It takes a great deal of money and loyal employees. Hopefully her dream will not be popped before the restaurant ever opens. The first Cookbook club meeting is at Trista’s house. As each of their lives begin to unfold and change they not only lean on each other for assistance, but others, some who were in their pasts, some who will be in their futures forever, and some who just happen to come into a bar one night for a drink. But the Cookbook club women know one thing. No matter what, they will always be friends. Their stories are not very similar, but have many things in common. The love they have for others, and each other, the strength they have to make difficult decisions, and of course the delicious food of their Cookbook club.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    3.5 stars...cute read, just wish it had been a bit "more" in terms of character development because it was a bit fluffy at times in that and the plot. Still, I enjoyed it and Harbison's easygoing writing style. 3.5 stars...cute read, just wish it had been a bit "more" in terms of character development because it was a bit fluffy at times in that and the plot. Still, I enjoyed it and Harbison's easygoing writing style.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mom_Loves_Reading

    Q: Do you use cookbooks? Maybe have a collection of them? I do! I absolutely LOVE them & my husband built me a custom bookshelf on the end of my island just for them! Most are gluten-free, sugar-free recipes, some are for InstantPots, or Keto based, or written by celebrities. And I absolutely would LOVE to be a member of 'The Cookbook Club'! I 100% LOVED this book! It makes you feel like you are literally part of the club & getting to know the women there. I would love to see a sequel for this bo Q: Do you use cookbooks? Maybe have a collection of them? I do! I absolutely LOVE them & my husband built me a custom bookshelf on the end of my island just for them! Most are gluten-free, sugar-free recipes, some are for InstantPots, or Keto based, or written by celebrities. And I absolutely would LOVE to be a member of 'The Cookbook Club'! I 100% LOVED this book! It makes you feel like you are literally part of the club & getting to know the women there. I would love to see a sequel for this book, maybe even a film adaptation! With well-developed characters, 'The Cookbook Club' just left me w/ an overall warm-hearted feeling (& maybe a little bit hungry) & it really got me wanting to bake something. Maybe I will try one of the several recipes at the end of the book! Such a great book! Look for it on 10/20.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kate Olson

    I love the cover, love foodie fiction and have enjoyed books by this author before - explanation for why I bought this book. As for the reading experience, all I can say is it was what my exhausted brain needed this week (first week of students being back in my school since March 17, 2020) - it was light and let me me just glide through the pages while occasionally shaking my head at the inconsistencies, but without any angst and with enough food thrown in to keep me reading. My critical reader si I love the cover, love foodie fiction and have enjoyed books by this author before - explanation for why I bought this book. As for the reading experience, all I can say is it was what my exhausted brain needed this week (first week of students being back in my school since March 17, 2020) - it was light and let me me just glide through the pages while occasionally shaking my head at the inconsistencies, but without any angst and with enough food thrown in to keep me reading. My critical reader side wants to call the editor and be like REALLY?? Why did you let that part stay in when the whole story was better without it? Also, didn’t you notice that the author totally switched the characters’ past relationship halfway through the book? To sum it up - it was kind of like eating a piece of just-okay apple pie ~ it’s enough to satisfy your craving for it, but you keep thinking how it could be improved with better apples, a lighter crust, etc.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This was my first Goodreads Giveaway. I was intrigued by the title because I am the type of person who can read a cookbook just like it's a work of fiction and I enjoy talking about food and new recipes with friends. However, this book was a bit of a let down. It just never really grabbed me. I had no urgency to return it every time I put it down. I enjoy strong characters. I want to know them, care about them, and recognize myself in them. This book just did not have strong character developme This was my first Goodreads Giveaway. I was intrigued by the title because I am the type of person who can read a cookbook just like it's a work of fiction and I enjoy talking about food and new recipes with friends. However, this book was a bit of a let down. It just never really grabbed me. I had no urgency to return it every time I put it down. I enjoy strong characters. I want to know them, care about them, and recognize myself in them. This book just did not have strong character development, which was surprising because the chapters belong to a specific character and you read their individual train of thought. I really like it when an author lets you into the head of all the protagonists. Even though Beth Harbison used this writing style, I still felt disconnected to the characters. As for the cookbooks and cooking, again nothing special. She glossed over this as well. Every cooking genre book that I have read features recipes that are made by the characters, but not this one. There are random recipes in the back that have nothing to do with the book. Perhaps if the author gave more than a cursory description of the characters lives, backgrounds, and cooking connection this might have appealed to me more.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Konet

    This book was much better than I thought it was going to be even though some parts were realistic and the ending was abrupt, it just ends. Three different women with their own set of issues with jobs and relationships meet and form a cookbook club because of their mutual love for food. You learn a lot about the three main women (Margo, Aja and Trista), they interact with each other a lot but not with other members of their club. I felt that was strange. Overall still an enjoyable, beachy read esp This book was much better than I thought it was going to be even though some parts were realistic and the ending was abrupt, it just ends. Three different women with their own set of issues with jobs and relationships meet and form a cookbook club because of their mutual love for food. You learn a lot about the three main women (Margo, Aja and Trista), they interact with each other a lot but not with other members of their club. I felt that was strange. Overall still an enjoyable, beachy read especially if you love fiction books with food themes. I know I do. Thanks to Netgalley, Beth Harbison, and Harper Collin Publishing William Morrow Paperbacks for ARC in exchange for an honest review. Available: 10/20/20

  14. 4 out of 5

    K D

    I obtained this book as a giveaway. I’ve tried to read it three separate times, and I just can’t get interested. I’m a senior citizen, so maybe it’s a generational thing. I enjoy books of this genre, such as those by Diane Mott Davidson, so I was looking forward to reading it. I’m sorry to give such a negative review — if you’re interested, go ahead and read it. Some of the reviews are positive. The first character presented is Margo. I saw her as 2-dimensional, even 1 dimensional woman. I agree I obtained this book as a giveaway. I’ve tried to read it three separate times, and I just can’t get interested. I’m a senior citizen, so maybe it’s a generational thing. I enjoy books of this genre, such as those by Diane Mott Davidson, so I was looking forward to reading it. I’m sorry to give such a negative review — if you’re interested, go ahead and read it. Some of the reviews are positive. The first character presented is Margo. I saw her as 2-dimensional, even 1 dimensional woman. I agree with the reviewer who referred to her as ˋsilly.‘ Really, where has she been? I didn’t realize there were other characters, since I quit trying to read it being so disappointed with such a shallow character . Other criticisms include the endless adjectives and name dropping. One adjective seems never enough, they’re stacked up like chairs, really slowing down the reading. Get to the story, I don’t care that Margo uses and admires Le Creuset cookware, or that she owns a copy of “The Broccoli Forest” cookbook, from when? — the 1970’s. How old is she anyway?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Olivia's Bookish World

    This was a good book, but it could have been great, and that's disappointing. I feel a little cheated. With 4 different characters' perspectives you never get to fully "bond" with any of them. There were quite a few plot points that were never explained (so frustrating!!) and there was a whole lot of telling instead of showing. They formed a cookbook club but we only got to see them at the bookclub once or twice. After a bit it took a complete backseat to the story and we only got to see the not This was a good book, but it could have been great, and that's disappointing. I feel a little cheated. With 4 different characters' perspectives you never get to fully "bond" with any of them. There were quite a few plot points that were never explained (so frustrating!!) and there was a whole lot of telling instead of showing. They formed a cookbook club but we only got to see them at the bookclub once or twice. After a bit it took a complete backseat to the story and we only got to see the notes about the food from each meeting. I expected the book (based on how the story was flowing) to be a lot longer so the epilogue took me by complete surprise. https://inthecornerofmythoughts.com/

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Montero

    I am a big fan of this author but I was a little disappointed in this book. It wasn’t bad (except when she said Violet Beauregarde said “I want an Oompa Loompa now!” We all know it was Vercua Salt). I kept hoping it would get better. It was ok but not great.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barb Martin

    I was disappointed. Margo's sad excuse for a husband announces he's leaving her, and she retreats to cookbooks and cooking fabulous foods as a sad response. I was elated, thinking I was about to embark upon a story akin to "The School of Essential Ingredients," in which food and feeling intertwine into a deep and satisfying experience. Nope. Food shows up regularly, but it isn't given the orgasmic write-up that I desired. Instead, Margo meets two new women, and the three of them have their separate I was disappointed. Margo's sad excuse for a husband announces he's leaving her, and she retreats to cookbooks and cooking fabulous foods as a sad response. I was elated, thinking I was about to embark upon a story akin to "The School of Essential Ingredients," in which food and feeling intertwine into a deep and satisfying experience. Nope. Food shows up regularly, but it isn't given the orgasmic write-up that I desired. Instead, Margo meets two new women, and the three of them have their separate rom-com stories that come together occasionally to talk about food. Don't even get me started about the ridiculous "reveal" about why Trista lost her job or the part that Margo's now-gone husband had in it. To me, that reeked of the author's pathetic attempt to write an over-the-top "me, too" stunner. Trista's explanation of the events seemed more gossipy than authentic, thus rendering the entire thing a juvenile attempt at what should have been an important element. All three -- Margo, Aja and Trista -- get their happy endings. Plenty of readers are going to coo and rave over this book. Good for them. It was a fairly light and fluffy piece, a quick read. I just wanted more meat with my meal.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I devoured this book (pun intended)! It was a fun read and I quickly got invested in the characters. It was a nice, lighthearted read that was needed after a stint of reading some more intense and suspenseful books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    3.5 Stars This was a fun little read about three women forming a cookbook club when all three were in a difficult time in their lives. The recipes sound amazing!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sara E

    The perfect feel good book for a snowy January day in the middle of a pandemic! Forget about the craziness in the world and spend some time getting to know Margo, Aja, and Trista. Warning: will make you hungry for Italian but will also remind you how wonderful true friendship is!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    This new release has all the things I love in a story—food, friends, and re-invention. Trista is a former lawyer turned restaurant owner who starts a cookbook club to try out her new recipes. Aja and Margo join and the three very different women form a supportive friendship. Each of these characters has their own story of putting their lives back together—Trista and the new restaurant, Aja and a new baby, and Margo with a new divorce and a farmhouse to remodel. I love when I can watch characters This new release has all the things I love in a story—food, friends, and re-invention. Trista is a former lawyer turned restaurant owner who starts a cookbook club to try out her new recipes. Aja and Margo join and the three very different women form a supportive friendship. Each of these characters has their own story of putting their lives back together—Trista and the new restaurant, Aja and a new baby, and Margo with a new divorce and a farmhouse to remodel. I love when I can watch characters make good choices and create a better life. The three protagonists and the other supporting characters were well developed, funny, and shared some great moments. Their struggles felt real and the dialogue was clear and realistic, very easy to read. I left wishing I could eat at Trista’s restaurant, see Aja’s garden project, and visit Margo’s farmhouse. (Thanks NetGalley for the ARC)

  22. 5 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    I received a free ebook of this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. When I saw the title of this, and the author, I knew I wanted to read it. I collect cookbooks and I have read and enjoyed other books by Beth Harbison. This one did not disappoint. Three very different women, each finding themselves at a crossroads in their lives for very different reasons, come together at a cookbook club. Margo was just dumped by her husband and is in the throes of a divorce. Aja is unexpectedly I received a free ebook of this title from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. When I saw the title of this, and the author, I knew I wanted to read it. I collect cookbooks and I have read and enjoyed other books by Beth Harbison. This one did not disappoint. Three very different women, each finding themselves at a crossroads in their lives for very different reasons, come together at a cookbook club. Margo was just dumped by her husband and is in the throes of a divorce. Aja is unexpectedly pregnant and not in a relationship with the father at this point. Trista has left behind her law career and done a complete life about face by opening a bar. The novel follows each of the women as they face their personal challenges. I appreciated that this was not ridiculously sweet or sassy; the characters had more of a realistic feel to them. Good women’s fiction read exploring themes of friendship, second chances, and family.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    DNF @27% 2020; William Morrow Paperbacks I have seen Beth Harbison's book around Goodreads and bookstores, but most of the titles have not really interested me. I have her two other books Every Time You Go Away and Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger, but have not had a chance to read them yet. When I read the synopsis of this one, I was intrigued as I love cookbooks and book clubs. Sometimes predictability and cliches work for me, as I see it as a comfort read. I know how it will end s DNF @27% 2020; William Morrow Paperbacks I have seen Beth Harbison's book around Goodreads and bookstores, but most of the titles have not really interested me. I have her two other books Every Time You Go Away and Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger, but have not had a chance to read them yet. When I read the synopsis of this one, I was intrigued as I love cookbooks and book clubs. Sometimes predictability and cliches work for me, as I see it as a comfort read. I know how it will end so I feel safe from any suspense. Other times, it just is a bit boring. Unfortunately, this one ran towards the latter for me. Harbison is a popular author so check out other reviews. ***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chloe (Always Booked)

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this eARC! I really enjoyed this book. The first 75% was a 5 star for me. This is about 3 women who come together to form a cookbook club. What does that mean? It means they get together every so often and all bring a dish from a certain cookbook and they share a meal. I love stories about women and I love stories about food-- so the premise is right up my alley. We have Margo who is in the middle of a divorce and a farmhouse r Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this eARC! I really enjoyed this book. The first 75% was a 5 star for me. This is about 3 women who come together to form a cookbook club. What does that mean? It means they get together every so often and all bring a dish from a certain cookbook and they share a meal. I love stories about women and I love stories about food-- so the premise is right up my alley. We have Margo who is in the middle of a divorce and a farmhouse renovation, Aja who is pregnant by a really crappy guy, and Trista who is attempting to reinvent herself, switching her career from law to bar owner. All of their stories were interesting, but I thought Trista's was a little underdeveloped. There are 2 cases of childhood friends coming back into the women's lives and that is one of my all time favorite tropes so I loved seeing that. There are a few times you have to suspend your disbelief, but that didn't bother me in this book. My biggest complaint with this book was the ending. It just stopped. No real conclusion, no satisfaction with the women's stories, and an epilogue that was virtually worthless. I'm assuming this is setting up to be a series, but even if that is the case ( I really hope it is), there needed to be a less abrupt ending to this. I would definitely recommend reading this book, but maybe wait until you see if there are more books in the series that will lead to a more satisfying conclusion. SPOILERS AHEAD: Margo's husband leaves her with his family farm. It's so run down that its virtually uninhabitable, but Margo has always loved it so she puts out an ad on social media asking for someone who is interested in renovating. Conveniently, a mega movie star named Max sees it and responds. Max and Margo were friends when they were young so he still follows her social media accounts and he is desperate to step away from the limelight for awhile, so he responds and takes on the job. The dilapidated home doesn't scare him, so he moves in to start the renovations. A romance starts between the 2 of them, but ends very abruptly. She also has a YouTube channel where she makes healthy recipes and her mom and her nursing home friends are the only ones who watch until max appears on the channel then she gets 2 million subs. Aja finds out she's pregnant and keeps it secret from everyone, including her boyfriend. He finally takes her to meet his mom and she is very rich and snooty and ends up hiring Aja to be her gardener. While doing her job, she finds some jewelry and the mom accuses her of trying to steal it, but then we find out that the boyfriend has a daughter that his mom has visitation with every weekend and the little girl is taking the jewelry outside. Aja never knew about his daughter and so she's surprised, but not really once she finds out the guys true character and she really steps back to look at their relationship. In the end, she has her baby and her and the mom are very close. The mom is going to be in the baby's life even if her son is not. Trista leaves her job as a lawyer to open a bar. A guy from her past comes and applies for the job of bartender and they have a flirty relationship, but it doesn't really go anywhere YET.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Talie

    Thank you NetGalley, William Morrow Books, and Harper Audio for the complimentary digital and audiobook copies of this book. I loved everything about The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison. As a reader my two favorite types of novels are a heavily character driven book and romance. This book combines the best of both worlds into a truly enjoyable book. Add in a lot of delectable food and I was sold. If I had to peg a genre for this one I'd put it under women's literature. The book tells the story of t Thank you NetGalley, William Morrow Books, and Harper Audio for the complimentary digital and audiobook copies of this book. I loved everything about The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison. As a reader my two favorite types of novels are a heavily character driven book and romance. This book combines the best of both worlds into a truly enjoyable book. Add in a lot of delectable food and I was sold. If I had to peg a genre for this one I'd put it under women's literature. The book tells the story of three women, Margot, Aja, and Trista, who are all at a crossroads in their lives and end up meeting as part of an Instagram group meet up pot luck. The story switches between the three women telling each of their stories. Margot is a newly divorced woman still reeling from her husband's abandonment. Aja is the youngest of the three struggling with a difficult boyfriend and other life difficulties (no spoilers). Trista is a lawyer turned bar owner, who also loves to cook. As the story weaves through the three women's lives you get to learn their hopes, fears and troubles and watch all three work through their relationship issues. This book is a slow journey as you get to know the women and along the way are exposed to all kinds of lovely food. I particularly like how the author focuses on particular cookbooks and dishes from those cookbooks. I'd highly recommend this book to people who loved character driven novels with a dash of romance thrown in. If you like faster paced action, this book may not be the best choice. That being said I was hooked from the start as each character leads a very different life with various challenges and life circumstances. Steam wise this was a closed door romance which really revolves more around the three women then the romance. Overall this is the type of book I love and I give it a big thumbs up.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jodie (That Happy Reader)

    The story surrounds three women who initially meet through the cookbook club. Margo is a woman whose husband has recently come home and announced he has been given a promotion on the other side of the country and that he is leaving her. He’s left her a dilapidated farm house and the house she is living in, but the mortgage is now all hers. Trista is the woman who has organized the cookbook club. She’s recently been fired from her position in a law firm and has taken the opportunity to buy and re The story surrounds three women who initially meet through the cookbook club. Margo is a woman whose husband has recently come home and announced he has been given a promotion on the other side of the country and that he is leaving her. He’s left her a dilapidated farm house and the house she is living in, but the mortgage is now all hers. Trista is the woman who has organized the cookbook club. She’s recently been fired from her position in a law firm and has taken the opportunity to buy and redesign the bar/restaurant she worked in years ago. Aja is a young woman who is in an unhealthy relationship who comes to realize that she is pregnant - something she wants to hide for as long as she can. The trio meet monthly to share and a meal, try new recipes and provide support for one another. However, most of the story is about the three women and their independent lives outside of the club. I found the character development to be adequate and appreciated the challenges in life each woman was facing. I didn’t, however, feel as connected as I would have liked to the characters. While the book kept my interest, I felt it could have been much more. The story just seemed to wrap up too quickly for my liking. I was also surprised and a little disappointed to see the lack of engagement between club members, especially given the title of the book. I listened to the audiobook version of the book which was narrated by Orlagh Cassidy. Her performance was believable as each of the women, and I found her voice to be articulate and with the right amount of expression. I listened to the book at my usual 1.25x which was the perfect speed for listening. Thanks to my local library for having a copy of the audiobook. I’d recommend this book for those that enjoy a lighter, relaxing read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    The warmth of the oven fills the home as the scents of baked goods and oven roasted chicken permeate the space. Fresh fruits, spices, chopped vegetables, and a plethora of dirty dishes litter the kitchen counter as the aftermath of your cooking binge is on display. Cooking, baking, conjuring up food that you picture in your mouth, either savory or sweet, it’s all such a soothing experience. And the only thing that makes you feel like you’re doing something right in life. The Cookbook Club is a sw The warmth of the oven fills the home as the scents of baked goods and oven roasted chicken permeate the space. Fresh fruits, spices, chopped vegetables, and a plethora of dirty dishes litter the kitchen counter as the aftermath of your cooking binge is on display. Cooking, baking, conjuring up food that you picture in your mouth, either savory or sweet, it’s all such a soothing experience. And the only thing that makes you feel like you’re doing something right in life. The Cookbook Club is a sweet, light, contemporary romance about three women that meet at an impromptu cookbook club gathering. Each is dealing with her own major issue but they come together with a love for cooking and the development of a genuine friendship. This book was cute and is filled with some yummy sounding recipes in the back, but it lacked character depth for me. It’s essentially three books in one as you get to know each woman’s story, but it moves too fast, so you don’t get to know them as well as I’d like. And ironically it starts really slow, so after 100 pages it speeds up quickly and you’re rushed through a story that was originally developing at a snail’s pace. It takes place over the course of an entire year and I wish it would have had either a shorter timeline or a longer book to accommodate more information. Anyway, I recommend if you want a sweet story with light romance and enjoy cooking or food related stories. Also, side note, do not read this when you’re hungry! Haha TW: Divorce/Break-up, Loss of a Loved One. *I received a gifted copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    It was the title that caught my attention. I am a sap for food-related books in all genres. And this novel's title also flaunted a book club re food/cookbooks/friendship. I simply expected to get a fairly decent read out of THE BOOK CLUB by Beth Harbison, but its storyline truly caught-me-up. Loved the characters. When Trista Walker sends out a call for members to start up a new cookbook club, the response is limited in numbers but interesting and ultimately delicious for all involved. There's ju It was the title that caught my attention. I am a sap for food-related books in all genres. And this novel's title also flaunted a book club re food/cookbooks/friendship. I simply expected to get a fairly decent read out of THE BOOK CLUB by Beth Harbison, but its storyline truly caught-me-up. Loved the characters. When Trista Walker sends out a call for members to start up a new cookbook club, the response is limited in numbers but interesting and ultimately delicious for all involved. There's just enough tension in the plot, some romance, bits of humor, and a bit of "rat control" in the club leader's bar & grill, plus experiences of the new club members . Lives change, expand. And I've tagged 5 recipes at the end of the book which will definitely be photocopied before the paperback leaves my house! THE COOKBOOK CLUB by Beth Harbison is a fine read. It has heart and enough guts to keep you reading and wishing well for its main characters. If you're down in the doldrums, pick it up for a quick read (despite its page count being just over 300!). Or read it for whatever attracts you to it. I am rating it at 4-stars which, in Goodreads jargon means "really liked it."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (The Book Club Mom)

    I ate this book up in just a few sittings. Ha! See what I did there? Wink, wink. I was hungry for a good story about female friendship, and The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison satisfied my craving. Okay, okay, I’m done. No more cheesy jokes...I promise! Hahaha! All joking aside, I really did enjoy this wonderful novel that follows three women: Margo, Aja, and Trista. I admired this trio very much. They’re all fun, likable, strong, relatable, and going through some major life changes. Margo is in I ate this book up in just a few sittings. Ha! See what I did there? Wink, wink. I was hungry for a good story about female friendship, and The Cookbook Club by Beth Harbison satisfied my craving. Okay, okay, I’m done. No more cheesy jokes...I promise! Hahaha! All joking aside, I really did enjoy this wonderful novel that follows three women: Margo, Aja, and Trista. I admired this trio very much. They’re all fun, likable, strong, relatable, and going through some major life changes. Margo is in the beginning stages of a divorce, Aja is newly pregnant, and Trista has recently switched careers. They all end up bonding over delicious food, and sharing it with one another at their monthly cookbook club. The food descriptions in this novel made my mouth water. My stomach was growling the entire time, and I snacked A LOT. I’m a major foodie, so all of recipes included in the back were very much appreciated. Food, friendship, and a little bit of romance. What else do you need? Definitely check this yummy new release out. 4/5 stars for The Cookbook Club!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan Ballard

    3.75 / 5 🌟 If you love cooking, and friendship with a sprinkling of romance, don’t miss this book. It even has recipes in the back! Trista is setting out on a new venture of owning a restaurant after being fired from her position at the law firm. She puts out an ad for the Cookbook Club, a perfect place to try new recipes and meet new people. Margo has just been left by her jerk of a husband. He’s left her with a house mortgage and a farmhouse that is in disrepair. Seeing the ad for the Cookbook Cl 3.75 / 5 🌟 If you love cooking, and friendship with a sprinkling of romance, don’t miss this book. It even has recipes in the back! Trista is setting out on a new venture of owning a restaurant after being fired from her position at the law firm. She puts out an ad for the Cookbook Club, a perfect place to try new recipes and meet new people. Margo has just been left by her jerk of a husband. He’s left her with a house mortgage and a farmhouse that is in disrepair. Seeing the ad for the Cookbook Club, Margo thinks this might help her boost her little YouTube cooking show. Aja loves food, especially lately. She’s seeking to learn how to cook for her boyfriend and his snooty mother. But soon her “eating for two” isn’t so easy to hide and Aja will need more than recipes to help her navigate the future. While this isn’t a deep-diving character study or one that hits hard moral topics, it is a sweet story about three women who come together over the love of food and cooking. As their friendship grows, they share hopes, hurts, and insecurities, as well as, the joys in life. But most importantly they always add more butter! Thank you to @williammorrowbooks for this gifted copy.

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