Book Review: The Girls Guide to Love and Supper Clubs by Dana Bate

The following review originally appeared on Book End Babes, a website devoted to a love of reading and to learning about new authors.

The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs is one of those books I would have picked up at the book store or in the book section at Target. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many book stores around anymore and I’m avoiding Target with all my might. Luckily, I’m part of the BEB community and was able to snag this awesome book.

Here’s the synopsis:

Hannah Sugarman seems to have it all. She works for an influential think tank in Washington, D.C., lives in a swanky apartment with her high-achieving boyfriend, and is poised for an academic career just like her parents. The only problem is that Hannah doesn’t want any of it. What she wants is much simpler: to cook.

When her relationship collapses, Hannah seizes the chance to do what she’s always loved and launches an underground supper club out of her new landlord’s town house. Though her delicious dishes become the talk of the town, her secret venture is highly problematic, given that it is not, technically speaking, legal. She also conveniently forgets to tell her landlord she has been using his place while he is out of town.

On top of that, Hannah faces various romantic prospects that leave her guessing and confused, parents who don’t support cooking as a career, and her own fears of taking a risk and charting her own path. A charming romantic comedy, The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs is a story about finding yourself, fulfilling your dreams, and falling in love along the way.

The book is the first I’ve read in a while that has touched me on a personal level. While I’m still in the under-30 age group, I’ve approached that part in my life in which I, much like Hannah, am striving to learn more about myself and the career path I would like to pursue.

Hannah is kind of a mess and I love her character because of it. We watch her transition from what she thinks is the perfect life to finding what could be the perfect life for her. She’s lucky – like me – to have a best friend and unlikely supporters in her corner as establishes The Dupont Circle Supper Club.

My favorite scene from the book is when Hannah is hosting what is to be the final supper club and her ex-boyfriend and his new beau – also someone she knows – show up. Under the guise of aliases, Adam shows up with the unbearable Millie. The night turns out to be a huge mess and is the real turning point for Hannah. In the disaster of the evening, she finds herself and really realizes what and who are important to her in life.

I love that this book has a happy ending, but not an all encompassing happily ever after. We see Hannah transition into a new person, starting on the path to achieve her dreams.  I’m hoping author Dana Bate brings Hannah back in another book. I’d like to see how her dreams progress.

I’m also looking forward to trying the recipes at the end of the book! Pretzel bread here I come!

When reading a book where the character goes through a huge transition, do you prefer the happy ending where everything works out or do you prefer the story to end when the character is taking his or her first steps to achieving their dream?

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